Tell us about your latest book, Seven Days One Summer.
I wanted to explore the idea of a group of people being together for a week, and decided on a villa in Italy simply because I love all things Italian. I am interested in the idea of what goes on between people, when the glossy veneer that is possible in a short social exchange wears off, and those same people are revealed in their true colours. The themes that run through the novel, are tensions unravelling in the heat, misunderstandings in marriages and relationships, how it can be quite unsatisfactory to explore the past, and above all getting through all the dramas that arise as a group. What is uplifting about this novel is that all of the characters' lives change in subtle ways over the seven days that they are together. What is your favourite stage of the writing process?
I think I like the final stages best, when the hard work is done, and what I am doing is rewriting and editing to make the book better and better. I could rewrite forever, but there has to be a cut-off point. Which authors have inspired you?
When I was 15 I was inspired by the cult novel, Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger. I loved the vernacular use of language and the immediacy of the prose. Later I was very much taken with the style of Hemingway and Fitzgerald, and also by the self-confessional kind of desperation of some of Jean Rhys' writing. When I read her recently though, I was shocked that I found the books quite cold and hard. I always love to read Ian McEwan, Philip Roth, Carver and Sebastian Barry too. I am inspired by the short stories of Helen Simpson too. There are others that I am sure I have left off this list, there are just too many authors to mention. I developed Paragraph Planet because my favourite stage of writing is editing and reducing the word count to improve a piece. How do your successive drafts change?
I think they become tighter and tauter after every draft. Editing is great for getting rid of anything that is superfluous both in terms of style and plot. Have you any tips for aspiring writers?
Write every single day. Explore any give opportunity to do something outside the box, in case you can use it for material. Read, read, read. Click here for Kate's website.