Meet The Family – Kirsty Ferry
Today, I have caught up with Kirsty Ferry whose Ebook is due out this week, Kirsty is a Choc-Lit pro…
Hi Kirsty and welcome to my blog “A Story About A Girl” I was so excited to get to sit down and chat to another member of the Choc-Lit family and learn all about you and what you have in store for us.
What inspired you to write “Lily’s Secret?”
I wanted to write a second book based at Pencradoc, the Arts Centre in Cornwall that started life as a stately home in A Secret Rose, and I was playing around with a theatrical storyline – I’d been on holiday and seen a collection of old photos in which some Victorian children in another stately home were acting out a Pageant and getting all dressed up. I was dipping in and out of Google for inspiration, and saw some articles and pictures of Evelyn Nesbit, who was an American artists’ model, chorus girl, and actress in the early part of the 20th century. She was a true celebrity of her time and was associated with a hugely scandalous and murderous love triangle. I really wanted to create my own version of Evelyn, and thus ‘Lily Valentine’ came into being: the beautiful and scandalous Victorian actress who stars in Lily’s Secret.
What made you decide to submit with ChocLit?
I loved the name of it! Also, they were happy to take on romance novels of all genres without an agent, and as timeslip and dual timeline is my kind of thing, yet also quite niche in some ways, I thought I’d try it. The first draft of my first novel needed quite a bit of work, but I was very happy to accept that, and so grateful that Choc Lit had seen the potential, that I was delighted to throw myself into edits to make it better. I still am.
If you could go back to when you first started writing what one piece advice would you give yourself?
‘You’ll get there, so just go on as you’re doing’. I’ve always messed around with writing from being a child, but I only thought about getting published seriously in about 2010 or thereabouts. I probably wouldn’t change much, to be honest. It’s all worked out in its own time for me and I can’t say I could have done it much differently, when I think about my job and my family. I knew I had to wait until I had time to write more. I got a part time job after twenty years working full time, and my son grew up a bit which helped a lot!
If you weren’t writing what would you be doing?
Probably eating chocolate! I’d just be doing my day job, I suspect. Maybe I’d indulge in a bit more arty stuff myself, if I had the time.
How did you deal with rejections when you started out?
I took it on the chin as you do – it was a little frustrating, but I always got ‘good’ rejections in that the YA books I was doing were “good but just too niche” so I ended up self publishing. I was very lucky though, as Choc Lit were the first people I sent my ‘grown up’ book Some Veil Did Fall off to, and it all escalated from there.
What would you say to someone who wants to write?
Just do it. You can buy all the books in the world telling you ‘how’ to write, but you need to actually get those words on paper at some point. I was lucky that I did a couple of modules on my degree which were Creative Writing modules, and they never felt like work as I enjoyed them so much, so maybe if you can do a course where you get proper feedback, that would be an excellent bonus. It also trains you to let people read your work, without you rolling in embarrassment in the corner, like I used to!
Do you have any writing routines or rituals if so what are they?
I can usually write better in an afternoon, funnily enough. And I do like to have a nice coffee and some chocolate or a couple of biscuits when I do it. I just defend that habit by saying they help the words flow…ahem.
Which authors inspired you to write?
Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Barbara Erskine and Emily Bronte. No question.
Who would you want to play the main characters in your book if your novel was optioned for tv / film?
Ohhhh – good one. You know, I haven’t really thought about the characters in this book in that way, surprisingly. Maybe Isla Fisher for my red-headed theatrical contemporary heroine, Cordelia, and you’ve sent me hurtling again to Google and I’ve come up with Benoit Marechal for my artist hero Matt. If Chris Hemsworth was available, of course I’d let him have first pick of the role….
What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I’ve got a Christmas book with the panel, which is the third book in the Cornish Secrets series, and I’m writing the fourth one as we speak. I’ve also got two Schubert the Cat novellas with them, so hopefully they will get published at some point as well.
More About Kirsty
Kirsty Ferry is from the North East of England and lives there with her husband and son. She won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition in 2009 and has had articles and short stories published in various magazines. Her work also appears in several anthologies, incorporating such diverse themes as vampires, crime, angels and more.
Kirsty loves writing ghostly mysteries and interweaving fact and fiction. The research is almost as much fun as writing the book itself, and if she can add a wonderful setting and a dollop of history, that’s even better.
Her day job involves sharing a building with an eclectic collection of ghosts, which can often prove rather interesting.
‘There’s nothing logical about Pencradoc!’
Aspiring actress Cordelia Beaumont is fed up of spending summer in the city. So, when the opportunity presents itself, she jumps straight on a train to pay a visit to Pencradoc – the beautiful Cornish estate where her friend Merryn works.
But far from the relaxing break Cordy imagined, she soon finds herself immersed in the glamorous yet mysterious world of Victorian theatre sensation, Lily Valentine. Lily was once a guest at Pencradoc and, with the help of visiting artist Matt Harker, Cordy comes to discover that the actress left far more than memories at the old house. She also left a scandalous secret …
Check out Kirsty’s profile on the Choc-Lit website for more information on her books!