It feels like forever since I’ve had an author interview up on the blog, so it is very exciting to be able to say that I have a new one to share with you all, starring the lovely Katie Ginger!
Katie released her debut novel ‘The Little Theatre on the Seafront’ last year and it is an absolute delight! Myself and Katie came together to conduct this interview, so sit back, relax, get a cup of tea and biscuit at the side of you and enjoy!
Welcome to BreakfastAtShelbys, I’m so honoured to have you on here! Why don’t we kick start this interview off with you telling us a bit about yourself?
Hello, everyone! Thank you for having me on your blog, Shelby.
Well, I live in Kent with my two kids, hubby and dog, Wotsit. I’ve always loved creative writing but got out of the habit after uni when reality came crashing in and I had to get a job. Then as I got married and had kids it fell completely out of my life, except for little scribblings that I’d do then throw away because they were so awful.
I didn’t really start writing again until after I got made redundant from my job in the heritage industry in 2014. I took a creative writing course and fell in love with it again, and it turned out, I wasn’t as bad as I thought I was.
I had some cosy mystery short stories published but then the idea for Little Theatre formed and I got working on that. In July 2017 I entered a Twitter pitch competition run by HQ Digital and was lucky enough to get through. When they offered me a two-book deal I was absolutely blown away!
What or who inspired you to become a writer?
I’ve always loved Wendy Holden and Jenny Colgan, and any time I read one of their books I wished it was my name on the cover and my words on the page. But what really inspired me to take my writing from a hobby to actively pursuing my dream job was the death of my lovely cousin, Dan, in 2017. He died of cancer and was only 25. It really made me sit up and start making the most of every day, taking every chance I could find. I learned that we have no idea how long we’re on this planet for and you have to do everything you can to make your dreams come true.
‘The Little Theatre on the Seafront’ is your latest release AND debut novel, which I absolutely loved! Congratulations! Can you tell my readers – who may not have had the opportunity to hear about it yet – what it’s about?
Aww, thank you! I’m so pleased you enjoyed it. The Little Theatre on the Seafront is about shy, quiet, Lottie. When her nan dies, she leaves a letter telling Lottie to take over her place on the committee to save Greenley Theatre. Though Lottie’s reluctant to break out of her comfort zone, she does it with the help of Sidney Evans, her best friend. Along the way we meet the crazy am dram group, the Greenley Players and Lottie has to decide if she can save the theatre and still follow her heart.
‘The Little Theatre on the Seafront’ is (obviously) heavily based on a theatre and bringing it back to life. Do you have a theatrical background yourself or is that something you researched solely for your novel?
I had some knowledge of theatres because the local council I worked for also ran a theatre, and I shared an office with the theatre management team. It was at the time of a lot of budget cuts to local government and as I also worked in the arts, in museums, I saw first-hand how hard it was to protect creative arts. The research I did was more about the am dram group and acting techniques. I haven’t got any experience of acting myself, apart from school nativity plays! I’d be far too terrified to step onto a stage myself!
Do you have a favourite theatre production yourself that you’ve seen throughout the years?
I absolutely love Shakespeare and King Lear is my favourite play ever. Unfortunately, I don’t get to go to the theatre as often as I’d like, though this summer I’m going to see Night of the Iguana with Clive Owen at the Noel Coward Theatre and I absolutely cannot wait!
I’d love to know if you had somebody in mind when you were creating Sid? Although Jeremy sounded like an absolute dream boat, Sid definitely had me more intrigued!
Weirdly, I watched a lot of Father Brown mysteries when I was writing this. (Yes, I know I’m only 37 but I like them!) and there was a character in there who I think inspired some of Sid’s traits. The chauffeur in that series is a bit cheeky and I definitely wanted Sid to have that side to him. Other than that, Sid kind of created himself as I was writing him!
All of the characters involved in your story were so wonderful to read about, with unique and incredibly different personalities from one another. Who was your favourite character(s) to write about besides Lottie and Sid?
I really, really love writing Gregory and Cecil and they appear even more in the second Little Theatre book, Summer Season on the Seafront, out on 10th June. They’re very funny, with a sharp, quick wit, but also very kind and empathetic. They’re the kind of people I’d love to know and spend a day with. I think it’d be a wicked night out with those two!
What did a day to day life look like for you whilst writing your debut novel ‘The Little Theatre on the Seafront’?
When I was writing Little Theatre I was still working part time,so Monday’s and Tuesday’s were spent at Dover Castle where I worked in the Administration Team (a fab job with lovely people!). Then Wednesday to Friday I’d write once I’d got my daughter to school and my son to nursery. After they were home though it was into mum mode! That’s why it took me so long – almost 18 months!
If you could describe ‘The Little Theatre on the Seafront’ in three words, what would they be?
Heart-warming, funny, romantic. (At least I hope readers find it funny!)
Lastly, do you have any future book news that you are able to share with us?
Summer Season on the Seafront is out on 10th June, so I hope that if you’ve read the first book you’ll enjoy a second trip back to Greenley! For those that haven’t you can still start with this, you don’t have to have read The Little Theatre on the Seafront first. And I have a Christmas book coming out in October. The Christmas book is a stand-alone but features lots of lovely festive food and drink, and characters to make you smile!
Thanks so much for having me on your lovely blog! They were great questions and I really enjoyed answering them!
Thank you so much for coming on the blog, Katie! I look forward to talking some more next time.
Buy link: https://amzn.to/2vzhN7z