A Day in The Life Of…. Kirsty Ferry

As you may have gathered from the Blog Post Anni Rose posted as part of the blog hoop in for new book A Burning Lie. My life evolves around Football training, Air Cadets, The Fire Service and the occasional novel writing. I was looking forward to hearing about what Kirsty does with hers days….

 

This is quite a hard piece to write – each day is different, and contrary to what people might believe I do Kirstyas an author, I can’t drift around in a haze of creativity, writing all day as I have one of those things called a ‘life’. By that, I mean I have other commitments like a family and a day job and can’t always devote time to writing, much as I’d like to. I haven’t written anything substantial, really, since September – part of that was a decision I made after releasing three books in one year. I wrote them in lockdown and just thought that was enough really for the time being. I have released two more this year and one is coming out at Christmas – and that’s a lot of lockdown writing. Thankfully, now restrictions have eased a bit I can do other things. I have, for example, started an art class, which is something I’ve wanted to do for years, and we had three days in Glasgow which was lovely. Maybe I should write about one of those days!

Coffee is vitally important and I will start each day off with a one. I’m a monster without it! So our second day in Glasgow we visited the Willow Tea Rooms on Buchanan Street for coffee and a square sausage sandwich for breakfast; then we found our way to the Clockwork Orange subway and went to, variously, the Kelvingrove Museum, the Hunterian Museum, the Rennie Mackintosh House, up to the Cathedral and had a pit stop at a donut place before the Museum of Modern Art. My donut and coffee was much needed

donutI had taken my trusty notebook and pen to Glasgow in case inspiration struck – I refused to cart a laptop up there, even though I usually would take one on holiday as writing is a pleasure and a nice way to settle in for the evening in a holiday cottage. But as we were on the train and limited luggage-wise it wasn’t practical and, from experience, I knew I wouldn’t write when it was such a short, busy break. Well, I didn’t even open my notebook, even though there was lots to inspire me (some of the artworks were incredible and told such stories – the portraits at the Hunterian, and the Glasgow Boys and the Scottish Colourists were fantastic – and I saw some Pre Raphaelite works, some Impressionists work and even a Van Gogh) so I was pleased I hadn’t taken my laptop. On the train coming back, though, I got one of those lovely emails from the publishers that ping in and tell me edits are ready to be worked on, and I couldn’t wait to get home and settle down to them. I might have worked on them under the influence of a glass of wine and a takeaway, but it was a really nice end to the holiday.

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I am still writing, and being ‘an author’, but slowly! I am a little way through a novella but had to put it to one side to do edits on Edie’s Summer of New Beginnings, and then I was working on expanding Holly’s Christmas Secret (the train edits!) to make it novel length and appropriate for trade paperback. I will have the third Padcock one lined up to edit soon, which is another Christmas book, so new material isn’t happening very quickly but I’m working on other things. I’m squeezing some time in to do this blog at Costa, for example, before I head to work as I’m back in the office more, whereas I spent lockdown working from home.

So I don’t really have a typical day as an author. Things seem a little chaotic right now, but when I am in the writing zone, I do like to set aside some time either in the afternoon if it’s a non-work day, or in the evening to write, and I can get quite a lot of work done in those sessions. But right now I’m struggling to fit it in. But I will get back to it – it’s like my coffee. I have to do it, otherwise I’m a monster and all the characters in the stories I have yet to tell will get really, really cross at me!

 

 

Edie cover

Can Edie rediscover her artistic mojo and become a ‘Watercolour Wonder’?

Edie Brinkley went from rising star on the London art scene to hiding out at her gran’s cottage in the little village of Padcock after a series of unfortunate circumstances leave her almost too panicky to pick up a paintbrush.

When celebrity artist Ninian Chambers rocks up in the village to film Watercolour Wonders, a new TV art competition, Edie is horrified – especially as he played no small part in her decision to leave London.


But, with the support of the Padcock community, and one very special fellow contestant, could Ninian’s show ultimately offer a fresh start for Edie and her art career? Or will Annabel the sixties’ style stealer, along with make-up artist Tallulah and her ‘Caravan of Hell’, sabotage her summer of new beginnings?

Part of the Padcock Village series but can be read as a standalone story.

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What Makes an Author?

“What are little girls made of?   Sugar and spice or “all things nice” That’s what little girls are made of” by English poet Robert Southey. So what makes an author? I managed to catch up with Kirsty Ferry and ask just that…

Kirsty“If anyone was to ask me what makes an author – and that’s exactly what you’re doing here – I’d say it’s a combination of things.

  1. You’ll definitely need to write a book first. You definitely don’t want to wander around vaguely saying to people, ‘I want to write a book. She’s done that. I could do that.’ And you absolutely don’t want to ask fellow authors, ‘how can I write a book and get it published?’ Your fellow author will smile politely, and say ‘first write the book, then submit it.’ And you shouldn’t really follow that up with a ‘well where will I submit it? Will your publisher do it for me? I mean, they published you after all.’ Because you won’t get a polite response at that one. And certainly don’t jovially say to a fellow author, ‘you’ll be giving up the day job now!’ because chances are they won’t be and they’ve heard that a million times before and it’s stopped being amusing…
  1. You also need to be kind to other authors, published or otherwise. Everyone has to start somewhere and you’ll meet people at all different stages on your journey. You support those people, especially if they are friends, and go ‘yay well done’, even if their work isn’t to your taste. You don’t say, ‘oh, well, that’s nice, I fancy reading something like that, but can you recommend a proper author who writes that genre?’
  1. You need a bit of determination. You need to work at that story and make it the best it can possibly be so you’re sure when you send it off that it’s not half-baked and it’s not obvious that you got fed up in the saggy-middle stage. Chances are you’ll get rejected once, twice, three or more times. Please don’t give up. Nobody’s ever going to read it if it’s lingering on your hard drive. Self-publishing can be done quite cheaply now – I did that with my first couple of books and I’m glad I did. It got me ‘out there’ and confident enough to write and submit more. This book will be my 22nd for Choc Lit and Ruby Fiction. Imagine if I’d given up at the first couple of rejections? Also, be realistic. You have to let your book go sometime. Stop hanging onto it and meddling with it. Your publisher will change it anyway – which leads me onto the next point…
  1. You have to leave you inner diva at home. Once your book is accepted, it will be ripped to shreds. I’m not kidding. Even now I look at that first batch of edits and silently scream. Then I take a deep breath and start working through the suggestions. You cannot be precious with your manuscript. The publisher will know what their readers like. The title will probably get changed. You’ll be alerted to plot holes you can drive a bus through. You will feel like you’re the worst writer in the world and why the heck did they even take your book on for publishing? The word to remember here is “potential”. Your book is good – that’s why they took it on. But it has the potential to be amazing and a good editor will work with you to make that happen.
  1. You need a skin like a rhino. Once your book is out there, you will start getting reviews. And the reviews will not all be kind. All the glowing 4 or 5 stars that you will get will make you jump for joy – but wait until that first horrid 1 or 2 stars come in. You will forget every nice thing anyone ever said about it and obsess over the fact that someone didn’t like the colour of your cover (fact – I was marked down on a pink cover), or they decided they could have done it better and went on to animal-gefbdd1987_640explain in great detail how they could do that (fact – yes, someone wrote an extraordinarily long review on one of mine doing just that), or you will stumble upon a big long thread on Goodreads that has several people talking about how awful your characters were and other people were agreeing and adding their two pennorth (fact – yes. That did happen to me too). So the moral here is don’t feed the trolls. Don’t respond, much as you may want to. It’s really, really hard to deal with – probably the worst part of being an author –  but it is definitely a learned skill. Now, when my anonymous Amazon Hater goes in and one stars my latest release for the sake of it with just a rating and no review (fact – yeah, you guessed it – I have one!) I just ignore it. It still makes me cross, but I just wonder whether they have any books out, or whether they are still swilling around at point 1 above.
  1. You need to know a bit about social media and self promotion. A good publisher will do promo for you, but you do need to help yourself. Get a Facebook author page and keep your writing news on that so it doesn’t irritate people on your personal feed. The people who like your page are interested in your book news. The friends you have are possibly more interested in you and your pets. If they want to support you, and they’re interested enough, they’ll like your page. To me, it just compartmentalises my writing life and personal life a bit better. Twitter for me is much more about my books than ‘me’, and I keep my Instagram feed clear of writing. I have a photos page and an art page on there. Different aspects of my life, and it’s nice to have a social media platform that I don’t have to worry about updating for book news. I also have a blog and a website, and I know I need to take more care of them, but I’m sadly a bit lax there!
  1. Finally, try to enjoy it! It’s a lifelong dream for many people to become an author, and it’s truly amazing when it happens – even 22 books in! Don’t forget, though, that most of us will need day jobs as well, as it’s unlikely you’ll ever become a millionaire in this business – so it’s important to manage your expectations as well. It’s not likely you’ll get a huge advance and be JK Rowling overnight. But the first step to that is step 1 – write that book, submit it and keep everything crossed that you get to point 7 in the not too far distant future! And don’t forget to have fun on your journey. That is one of the most important pieces of advice I could ever offer you about being an author.”

ISWAW cover

It’s one thing to be asked to plan your sister’s wedding; it’s quite another when your sister is Nessa McCreadie …
Alfie McCreadie wants his twin sister Nessa to have the best wedding ever, but he’s not happy at being roped in as wedding planner – especially as, unbelievably, his main assistant seems to be Nessa’s cat, Schubert. Anyway, Alfie is a scientist. He might know his protons from his neutrons, but what does he know about weddings?

It’s Nessa who points him in the direction of Bea’s Garden, just outside Edinburgh, where he’s tasked with picking a “very-relevant-bouquet”. It’s there he meets Fae Brimham, who might be prettier than any bouquet bloom but doesn’t seem impressed by Alfie’s sensible, scientific side.
But when Nessa and Schubert are involved, surprises are bound to happen and, despite less-than-perfect first impressions, perhaps something new and beautiful can still blossom for Alfie and Fae …

You can buy Kirsty’s book from a selection of places included those below.

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You can talk to Kirsty via one of her social media links below.

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Kirsty has appeared on “Story About A Girl” her previous visits can be found HERE

Doing The Reseach… Kirsty Ferry

I’ve invented a new blog series thanks to Helen Bridget last week called “Doing The Research” so I am especially excited to be hosting the lovely Kirsty Ferry to talk about her new CHRISTMAS book Christmas of New Beginnings…

Kirsty

 

Thank you Claire for having me back on your blog. I can’t believe it’s ‘that’ time of the year already, when the Christmas books are on the shelves and we’re starting to think of festivities. After last Christmas which was a washout and very disappointing for so many people, I really wanted to write a light hearted Christmas book, and build that into a series for Ruby Fiction.

The first book in the Padcock series is Christmas of New Beginnings, and is told from Cerys Davies’ point of view over five Christmases, as she relocates to a small village in the South Downs, and engages with the quirky residents. There is one resident she’s particularly enamoured with, and that’s Sam who owns the local pub. There’s a big fly in the ointment though, in the shape of Sam’s hideous girlfriend Belinda. The book follows Cerys and Sam over the next few Christmases and I hope you enjoy their story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

My books usually take a lot more research than this one did. Many of my previous books have had a historical aspect, so I’ve researched, amongst many things, pirates, Jacobites, folklore, witches, highwaymen, Victorian and Edwardian Christmases and a lot of art movements such as the Pre Raphaelite Brotherhood and the Staithes Group of Artists. I’ve done research the traditional way by reading books and visiting museums or art galleries, and also have found a wealth of information on the internet, and love looking at estate agents websites for my characters’ houses, and virtually following their steps as they visit places in Google Maps. Sometimes, the internet sends me down what I fondly call the Google Rabbit Hole, and it spits up things I didn’t know – things that link in brilliantly to my story.

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I tend to start a story with an idea. I don’t plan it, because that leaves me free to visit those rabbit holes and pull something together – for instance, It Started with a Pirate began with a Google search on “Pirates in Edinburgh”. I found an article about the skeleton of a pirate that had been found in a school yard and that led me off to track piratical journeys, shipwrecks, the Orkneys, Spain, trial records and the Jacobites. It all fitted together, and I actually had a reader message me and ask if the pirate character in the book was a real person, as he sounded as if he should be. That was great for me to hear, as I think there is nothing worse than a big info-dump of historical information in a book. It’s guaranteed to make me skip the pages and get back to the story so I really try not to do that, and to weave the research in when I write.

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For Christmas of New Beginnings, it was much easier to write. The story flowed quite quickly as I didn’t have to fact check so much, but I did research the area of the South Downs (we have family down there, but I haven’t been for a few years), and also things like the prices of designer scarves and London markets which I needed to know a bit about to make sure that one of the characters enterprises worked out realistically. I also looked at fun things such as favourite Christmas films, which film the song ‘White Christmas’ appeared in (it’s Holiday Inn, by the way! I knew it was from a film, and the film wasn’t called White Christmas, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember at first!), and traditional Welsh folk songs. The village of Padcock is loosely based on Lacock Village, which I visited a while ago, so I also refreshed my memory on that one, which helped me draw a map in my head of Padcock – even though I added a canal there as well: just because I fancied it. That’s the beauty of research merging with fiction though. Sometimes you can blend the two together and make your readers suspend their disbelief for a little while –  and hopefully make the places and the stories seem as ‘real’ as they can be.

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51KSLK0i96LNot all festive wishes come true right away – sometimes it takes five Christmases …

Folk singer Cerys Davies left Wales for the South Downs village of Padcock at Christmas, desperate for a new beginning. And she ends up having plenty of those: opening a new craft shop-tea room, helping set up the village’s first festive craft fair, and, of course, falling desperately in love with Lovely Sam, the owner of the local pub. It’s just too bad he’s firmly in the clutches of Awful Belinda …

Perhaps Cerys has to learn that some new beginnings take a while to … well, begin! But with a bit of patience, some mild espionage, a generous sprinkling of festive magic and a flock of pub-crashing sheep, could her fifth Christmas in Padcock lead to her best new beginning yet?

 

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Which Books… Kirsty Ferry

Kirsty has a new book coming out TOMORROW! So I sat down with her for a chat about her favorite books

So here we go…Kirsty

Which book do you wish you’d written

Nice and easy one to start with. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – it’s got some of the best phrases in ever, and to be able to write a book which has stood the test of time, like this one, would be incredible.

Which book cover have you looked at and gone that’s amazing.

The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal. It caught my eye in Waterstones, and the whole hardback was beautiful, with gold edged pages as well as a little ribbon bookmark. It simply fell into my hand. Funny, that.

the doll

Which book character/s would you protect from the world.

Sounds a bit daft, but the boys from Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. I studied it for my degree and it suddenly struck me that those adventurous boys would be called up in WW2 to fight. It was a horrible feeling and made me feel quite sad – it must have been a good book to strike me in that way, though.

Which was the last book that broke your heart.

I’m very careful not to read books that break your heart! The world is horrid enough at the minute as it is. I know I have had tears streaming down my face at certain books in the past – but I’ve actually blanked them out. Again, it sounds crazy, but I was emotional writing a certain scene in my own book The Girl in the Painting!  Not that I suggest every author is emotionally attached to their characters…well, actually, yes we are. However, I suppose one that inadvertently broke my heart was Us by David Nicholls. I felt so sorry for the narrator. He was trying so hard to keep his relationship going, and his wife and son were just generally horrible to him. I did like the TV version, as it closed a loop that was sort of left hanging at the end of the book, so I was happy about that.

Which book would you make children read.

I have made him read Green Smoke by Rosemary Manning, my favourite childhood book. Also, the Just William books and the Secret Seven, Famous Five and The Magic Faraway Tree books by Enid Blyton. And Stig of the Dump!

Which book would you rewrite in a different genre.

That’s a hard one. Can I again return to my own? I did rewrite A Secret Rose from it’s original Gothic Romance/Victoria Holt genre to a dual timeline/timeslip – it’s still got a hint of the Gothic in though. I started it in 1997! If I really enjoy a book, why mess with it?

If you could write any genre which one would it be.

I’m lucky in the fact I do write in my favourite genres – dual timeline, timeslip, ghostly goings-on with a bit of Gothic Romance thrown in if I can sneak it by. I’ve also done some romantic comedy contemporary books, and that’s  a genre I’d like to pick up again, as it makes you feel cheerful when you write it, as well as read it. Again, ideal for these weird old times. Who wants to read about reality??? Not me.

If you could redesign any book cover which one would you choose.

Oh dear. I don’t know. I know how much thought goes into book cover design and it’s a hugely specialised field. I think there was bone chinaone I railed at a while ago for the simple reason that the heroine’s hair was a different colour on the front to what it was in the story and that irked me. I do dislike the ripped bodice, half naked Highlander ones. And maybe, if I was being truly picky, I’d change Bone China by Laura Purcell – nowhere in the book is a little girl. There is an adult who is treated like a child – but no little girls. But that is, as I say, extremely picky, because the rest of the cover is lovely.

Which book taught you the largest lesson about life.

I have no idea. I’ve always read for pleasure, never for ‘bettering myself’ or for the sake of sounding literary or highbrow. In practical terms, I would say The Secret of Happy Children by Steve Biddulph was invaluable when my son was little.

The best advice I ever read was ‘let them win the battle, then you will win the war’, closely followed by when you’re telling your child off, let them know it is their behaviour you’re complaining about, not them; so you say, ‘I love you very much but I don’t like your behaviour here.’ They were miracle worker phrases, honestly. Lots of positive reinforcement was encouraged as well.

Which three books would you take on holiday in 2021.

I’d probably take my Kobo and my Kindle and then I could choose some old favourites I like to  reread. Beyond that, it’s whatever I’ve picked up at the bookshop beforehand – something light hearted and summery would do the trick. I don’t like having to work at my reading – it has to be easy to read and engage me so I can really chill out and enjoy it.

 

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Coffee, cake and cats …

These are a few of Lexie Farrington’s favourite things, and when she walks into the Thistledean Café in Edinburgh, she’s delighted to find all three: coffee, cake, a big black cat on a purple lead being held by a very grumpy-looking pirate. Okay, maybe she wasn’t quite expecting that one …

Of course, Billy McCreadie isn’t really a pirate; he just knows a lot about them and is on his way to give a historical talk to school kids, hence the get-up. He’s also in desperate need of a cat sitter.

When Lexie steps in, little does she realise that Billy will be the key to a hidden Edinburgh she would have never discovered herself, and he might also be the man to help solve a certain piratical puzzle of her own …by little … one by one

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Holly’s Christmas Secret – Kirsty Ferry

Did someone say it’s nearly Christmas? There are only 80 days to go!!!!

Kirsty

Hi Kirsty, great to be able to catch up again and talk about your new book Holly’s Christmas Secret and of cause Christmas!

 

Are you a lover or hater of Christmas Kirsty?

I love it.  I particularly enjoy my Christmas dinner, pjs after that and prosecco, chocolate and trashy tv all afternoon! Calories don’t count on Christmas Day, right?

Of cause all the veg we eat with Christmas dinner cancels everything else out

What are your likes and dislikes about Christmas?

I love the build-up and my favourite day is perhaps Christmas Eve as it’s still magical, even as an adult.

pedestrians-400811_640What I don’t like is the fact Christmas starts in the shops in September, and I hate the commercialism part of it – that makes me sound miserable, perhaps, but I think it’s more than just parents getting stressed and overspending. 

A three-year-old isn’t going to remember Mummy’s perfect Christmas table – they’re going to remember playing with their toys all day, and eating a boat load of chocolate until they are bouncing of the walls.

Actually, who am I kidding – that’s me with the chocolate, that is!

Do you have any Christmas traditions, if so what are they are they carried on from your childhood or have you created your own?

A mixture of both. My Christmas tree still has three very special decorations on it – a pom-pom owl and a pom-pom Santa which I made in primary school, and a white felt snowman I made in secondary school. He has a red knitted hat and a red knitted scarf, and my gran knitted those for him, so he’s extra special.

Since I had my own son, we have always put a mince pie, a carrot and a drink for Santa on Christmas Eve. My husband and I argue over who has to bite the end off the carrot each year to make it look as if Rudolph ate it. I usually try to bargain out of it by saying I’ll have the wine and the mince pie instead, but it doesn’t always work. My son is 19. We still do it. We still argue over it. And I’m pretty sure it’s his turn to be Rudolph this year.

We always go to the Family Crib Service on Christmas Eve with a whole load of our friends, and we always take a picture of the kids in the same position outside the church afterwards. Means as the oldest ‘child’ is almost 23, and the youngest is 16, we’ve been doing it for a while now!

Then we go home, order a Chinese takeaway and eat it on our knees in 1765f5e1906c6e0f4e5108e1ae5196ed1d-19-muppet-christmas-carol-movie-2.rsquare.w700front of the Muppets Christmas Carol. I always wrap my presents whilst watching Elf, and on Christmas afternoon it’s new pjs, prosecco, a bath with my new bath products and new Broons book or Oor Wullie book – depending on which one is out that year – and eating chocolate until I pop. Bring it on!

Do you think we’ll have a white Christmas this year?

It can snow on Christmas Eve after I’m back from church, stay white and snow a bit on Christmas Day, then melt overnight for Boxing Day! That’s it.

What is your earliest Christmas memory?

I was taken to visit Santa Claus at Fenwicks in Newcastle when I was about five. My mum and grandma took me, and we had sausage and chips in the rooftop restaurant at the Co-Op before we went. Once we were at Fenwicks, we were ushered into a magical sleigh ride, and it was really dark. The ‘sleigh’ moved off, and fake snow came down from the ceiling and I remember it settling on my coat. I was wearing one of those brown furry hats that were all the range in the 70’s with pom pom things on the cords you tied under your chin and had a brown furry muff to match! The ‘snow’ stopped, and the lights came back on, and these black velvet curtains parted and there was Santa’s Grotto in front of me! I don’t remember getting the sleigh back – we were probably let out the fire exit! But I remember the journey to the grotto  very well.

What was the best present you received as a child?

51RHNuElGqL._AC_SL1000_Tough one – I’ve had some lush presents. My Bedtime Bear Care Bear is fab – I say ‘is’ because I’ve still got him, and he lives in my bedroom. Also, I got a bike with a basket on the front when I was 16 –a purple Raleigh Caprice.  I wanted to be Myfanwy from the David Essex video. I’ve still got that bike and have been using it this summer. Love it.

That’s the one present I always wanted and never got a Care Bear!

What was the one present you always wanted but never got?

A Mr Frosty! My husband, however, sourced one out for me a couple of years ago and I was very happy. I made alcoholic frozen cocktails in it. So then I was very happy.

What is your favourite Christmas carol and Pop Song?

Ohhhhh Do they Know it’s Christmas by Band Aid is right up there, along with Fairytale of New York by Kirsty MacColl and the Pogues, Last Christmas by Wham and David Essex’s Winter’s Tale. They are ageless. Can you tell I’m a child of the eighties…? If I had to go classical, I love Prokofiev’s Troika, and carol-wise I’ve always loved We Three Kings of Orient Are, Little Donkey, and In the Deep Midwinter.

If you were asked to guest DJ on a national radio station on Christmas day what would you play?

All those songs I mentioned before. And a good proportion of other famous Christmas Songs. But nothing modern by Reality Show contestants….so totally not Christmas records. And that takes us back to commercialism again.

What would you buy the main characters in Holly’s Christmas Secret for Christmas?

Holly, my historical heroine, would appreciate a big box of watercolour paints. 

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Noel, my historical hero, would probably appreciate a typewriter or a nice fountain pen.

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Sorcha, my contemporary heroine, would love something like a Primrose Bakery Cookbook or a Hummingbird Bakery cookbook (I have both, highly recommended).

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Locryn, my contemporary hero, would probably appreciate a first edition of a certain book – but to find out which one, you’d have to read my book…

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Holly’s Christmas Secret

 

 

Once upon a Cornish Christmas …

It’s almost Christmas at the Pencradoc estate in Cornwall which means that, as usual, tea room owner Sorcha Davies is baking up a festive storm. And this year Sorcha is hoping her mince pies will be going down a treat at ‘The Spirit of Christmas Past’ exhibition being organised at the house by new local antiques dealer, Locryn Dyer.

But as Locryn and Sorcha spend more time together, they begin to uncover a very special story of Christmas past that played out at Pencradoc more than a century before, involving a certain ‘Lady’ Holly Sawyer, a festive dinner party and a magical secret encounter with a handsome author …

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Kirsty is from the North East of England and won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition in 2009 with the ghostly tale ‘Enchantment’.

Her timeslip novel, ‘Some Veil Did Fall’, a paranormal romance set in Whitby, was published by Choc Lit in Autumn 2014. This was followed by another Choc Lit timeslip, ‘The Girl in the Painting’ in February 2016. ‘The Girl in the Photograph’, published in March 2017, completes the Rossetti Mysteries series. The experience of signing ‘Some Veil Did Fall’ in a quirky bookshop in the midst of Goth Weekend in Whitby, dressed as a recently undead person was one of the highlights of her writing career so far!

Kirsty’s first timeslip novel ‘The Memory of Snow’, commended in the Northern Writers’ Awards, is set on Hadrian’s Wall, with the vampire tale ‘Refuge’ set on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. She has also put together a collection of short stories, a non-fiction collection of articles and writes Gothic Fiction under the pen name Cathryn Ramsay.

Kirsty has had articles and short stories published in Your Cat, Peoples Friend, Ghost Voices, The Weekly News and It’s Fate, and her short stories appear in several anthologies. She was a judge in the Paws ‘n’ Claws ‘Wild and Free’ Children’s Story competition in 2011, 2013 and 2014, and graduated from Northumbria University in December 2016, having achieved a Masters with Distinction in Creative Writing.

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Kirsty’s Blog

 

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Meet The Family – Kirsty Ferry

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…

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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 hEvelyn Nesbitome 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?nougat-272934_640

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?

"The Great Gatsby" World Premiere - Outside ArrivalsOhhhh – good one. You know, I haven’t really thought about the character1800x1200_chris_hemsworth_others 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….

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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 magazinesHer 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.

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‘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 …

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