Today I am pleased to welcome a Chock Lit author, Kathryn Freeman. Kathryn’s book, Do Opposites Attract? came out with Choc Lit this month.
1) Your new novel, Do Opposites Attract? has recently been published. How does it feel to no longer be a debut author?
I have to keep pinching myself when I see the gorgeous cover with my name on it. I keep a couple of the books on my desk and I can’t help breaking out into a goofy grin every time I look at them. It’s been five years since I started writing books, but decades since the dream started to germinate in my mind. Of course having my debut paperback is just the start of the journey, not the end, and I still have so much to learn, but I’m loving every minute of it.
2) Can you tell me a little about the book?
Hey, you won’t be able to stop me! The title and the cover really do give a good insight into the book. It’s a romance (umm, you probably guessed that bit) involving two people from totally different backgrounds who meet in the harsh, emotionally charged environment of a refugee camp. The hero, Mitch McBride, grew up on the wrong side of the tracks but he’s managed in the main to put his past behind him and now works as a doctor for a medical charity where his background doesn’t matter. That is until the patron’s daughter comes to visit for a week. They couldn’t be more opposite. Where Mitch has had a rough, loveless life full of hard work and suffering, Brianna has had a charmed life surrounded by wealth and parents who adore her.
Not surprisingly, when they meet the sparks really fly and both are guilty of making assumptions about each other. Mitch of assuming because Brianna is rich, she’s spoilt. Brianna of assuming because he comes across as gruff, he doesn’t care.
Despite their differences – or because of them? – they find themselves drawn to each other. But is their attraction sustainable? That’s the question I hope you’re asking yourself J
3) How does it feel to be published by an award winning publisher?
I couldn’t have asked for a better publisher. Choc Lit are a highly professional group dedicated to working with their authors to develop their careers. It’s not just the team behind the scenes that are helpful and supportive, either – it’s the authors, too. For a newbie like myself, with no previous publishing experience, parachuting into this group was the softest, most comfortable landing I could have hoped for. I feel so proud - and more than little gobsmacked, to be honest – to see my name amongst all those other highly talented Choc Lit authors. Of course many of them are crazier than a box of frogs … but maybe that’s why I feel so at home.
4) Do you write full time or part time?
I write full time, but only half of that is romance! I worked for the pharmaceutical industry for over twenty years but three years ago I became self-employed so I could follow my dream of writing romantic fiction. At the moment I juggle medical writing for half the week and romance writing for the other half. So far I haven’t got the two mixed up, though I have just written a romance based in a pharmaceutical company.
5) Do you try and aim for a daily word target when writing?
No, I just go with the flow. I do have targets in mind for when I hope the first draft will be finished, and then for when I hope to submit the manuscript. I find they wriggle away from me a fair bit though!
6) Do you edit as you go along or do you wait until the first draft is finished?
I wait until the first draft is finished and then I work on something else for a while so that when I read it back again, I’m not too close to it. Rather sadly I do actually usually enjoy reading that first draft. It’s the second draft that’s the killer to me, when I start to realise it isn’t nearly as good as I thought it was.
7) Are you a planner or a pantser?
I think I’m a bit of both. For quite a while I plot out the major parts of the story in my head. If you see me stuck in a traffic jam, smiling to myself, you’ll know what I’m doing! When I’ve really got a handle on my characters and the setting all the ideas start pouring out and that’s when I open the blank sheet of paper and drop everything down. It’s more of a brain dump than a plan but I do end up with some character profiles and the outline of a story that I can then put into chunks. With this loose framework in mind, the panster in me is unleashed!
8) Who are your favourite authors?
Nora Roberts is my all time favourite but I love to read a whole host of other authors – though generally I stick to romantic fiction. Erica James, Suzanne Brockmann, Barbara Delinsky, Katie Fforde, Wilbur Smith, Jill Mansell, Judith McNaught, Julie Ann Walker, Susan E Phillips, Winston Graham have all been eagerly devoured. I’ve tried so many more new authors since buying my Kindle J
9) Do you have any advice for unpublished authors?
What helped me most was … writing. I know it sounds basic, but I strongly believe the more you write, the better you get. When I look back at manuscripts I wrote three years ago, I cringe. Did I really think that was good enough to submit to publishers? Joining the RNA’s New Writers’ Scheme also helped me enormously. The feedback I was given on a couple of my manuscripts made me take a step back from the detail of each individual sentence and start thinking of my writing as a story. Finally, never give up. If you want it badly enough and are prepared to keep writing despite the inevitable streams of rejections, you will succeed.
To find out more about Kathryn:
Website: http://kathrynfreeman.co.uk Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kathrynfreeman Twitter: https://twitter.com/KathrynFreeman1
There’s no such thing as a class divide – until you’re on separate sides.
Brianna Worthington has beauty, privilege and a very healthy trust fund. The only hardship she’s ever witnessed has been on the television. Yet when she’s invited to see how her mother’s charity, Medic SOS, is dealing with the aftermath of a tornado in South America, even Brianna is surprised when she accepts.
Mitch McBride, Chief Medical Officer, doesn’t need the patron’s daughter disrupting his work. He’s from the wrong side of the tracks and has led life on the edge, but he’s not about to risk losing his job for a pretty face.
Poles apart, dynamite together, but can Brianna and Mitch ever bridge the gap separating them?
About the author:
Kathryn was born in Wallingford, England but has spent most of her life living in a village near Windsor. After studying pharmacy in Brighton she began her working life as a retail pharmacist. She quickly realised that trying to decipher doctors’ handwriting wasn’t for her and left to join the pharmaceutical industry where she spent twenty happy years working in medical communications.
In 2011, backed by her family, she left the world of pharmaceutical science to begin life as a self-employed writer, juggling the two disciplines of medical writing and romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero…
With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to bother buying a card again this year (yes, he does) the romance in her life is all in her head. Then again, her husband’s unstinting support of her career change goes to prove that love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes can come in many disguises.
Kathryn’s novels include: Too Charming and Do Opposites Attract?