Monday 16 September 2013

Secret Serendipity Seven with Katie Dale

As part of the Little White Lies blog tour, I’m really pleased to welcome Katie Dale onto the blog to tell us seven well kept secrets about herself and the book.
Gorgeous Christian is a mystery. Why does he dye his hair, clam up whenever Lou asks about his past, and have no family photos? 
But when Christian’s secret is publicly revealed, Lou finds herself in terrible danger – and keeping secrets of her own… 
As lie follows lie, nothing is as it seems, and soon Lou finds herself ensnared in a web of deceit, her loyalties torn, her emotions in tatters as she faces a heart-wrenching dilemma: should she shatter the lives of those she holds dearest, or betray the guy who, against all odds, she's fallen in love with? 
Published by Simon & Schuster UK August 2013
1) I have quite a quirky writing method…
I don’t necessarily start writing at the beginning of the book, but instead start writing from the moment or scene in the story which is clearest or most compelling/exciting in my head. So I actually started writing LITTLE WHITE LIES from halfway through! This works well as a method of avoiding writer’s block – I just skip to the next part of the story I’m most interested in – but can often cause me problems too, as it leaves lots of gaps to stitch up at the end!
In fact, the first synopsis I wrote for my publishers is pretty much unrecognizable compared to the final book! But as it was the second novel in a two-book deal, and we were working to a deadline and pre-set publication date, we all wanted to be sure we were on the same page with the story and where it was going as, unlike SOMEONE ELSE’S LIFE which went through 40 pages of edits(!) there wouldn’t be a lot of time for major changes at the edit stage. 
Having said that, due to my quirky writing method, although everything went well to begin with, and I got to the end of the book fairly quickly for me – when I went back to the beginning to write the first half I found it really tricky, as there were all these secrets to hide. Consequently, I ended up rewriting the first eight chapters several times over, ultimately changing the setting from a summer writing course in a small Yorkshire village to Sheffield university, adding the character of Kenny, changing my main character’s name from Sasha to Lucy then finally to Lou, and changing Jazz’s name to Vix because I liked the name Jazz so much I want to save it for a main character in a future book!
3) My Mum is also a children’s writer 
Making up stories must be in my genes. When my mum, Elizabeth Dale was pregnant with me she started writing – and hasn’t stopped since! Whether magazine stories, picture books, or mystery series, Mum’s always writing – she’s had over 1600 stories published all over the world – which made it seem like a normal thing to do. I blame her for my being a writer, and she blames me!
4) My first publication was at age 8. 
So, having a mum who wrote all the time, I started making up stories from a young age too – and my first publication was a somewhat macabre poem entitled The Fate Of The School Hamster which was included in the Cadbury’s anthology of Children’s Poetry. 
5) I know the inside of a Travelodge like the back of my hand without research 
In my other life as an actress, I once spent a summer on an outdoor Shakespeare tour and every night we’d stay in a different Travelodge. They’re all pretty much identical inside, so every morning I’d wake up and have absolutely no idea whereabouts in the country I was! I got pretty fed up of Travelodges! But in a way the familiarity was kind of nice, too.

6) Like Lou, I also went to boarding school. 
My dad’s a biology teacher at a boarding-school (where boys outnumbered girls 5 to 1!) so after I won a scholarship I went there for sixth form college as a day girl. Like Lou, I found it both wonderful and frustrating – there are no secrets at a boarding-school as gossip spreads like wildfire!  image
7) The Flying Pig pub really exists!
Although it’s not actually in Sheffield, and I didn’t realize it existed until after I’d finished writing LITTLE WHITE LIES. I based the pub in my book on another pub I went to whilst at uni, THE PORTER BROOK, although I shifted its position up a hill where I lived as a student. But now I live in Cambridge, and the other day on the bus I use all the time I passed a pub called THE FLYING PIG and nearly laughed out loud – I must have seen it dozens of times and the name must have entered my head subliminally and I named my pub after it unintentionally! It’s not the first time this has happened!
An actress as well as an author, Katie loves nothing more than creating characters - both on page and onstage. She kept her parents happy by getting a “proper degree” in English Literature at Sheffield University, before finally going to drama school, then whilst she was on a belated gap year travelling through South-East Asia she found out she’d been chosen as a winner of the SCBWI Undiscovered Voices competition with the her first novel, the emotional rollercoaster SOMEONE ELSE'S LIFE, which launched her writing career, and is now published all over the world. LITTLE WHITE LIES, her second novel, has just as many twists and turns, but is more of a thriller...
Twitter: @katiedaleuk

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