Each week I’ll be sharing my Author Interviews so it’s an excellent opportunity to discover authors and find out about great books. Thank you to Katie Stephens for joining me this week to share some insights into her life and her book, Candles on the Sand.
Where were you born?
Surrey, United Kingdom
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Other than author, what jobs have you had?
I’ve worked in PR for the last eighteen years for a variety of businesses including music, fashion, house builders, car manufacturers, and I currently work for the AA (cars not alcoholics).
About Katie’s most recent book…
Walking out on her cheating fiancé and domineering mother eight weeks before her wedding Anna heads to Gatwick Airport and the Amalfi Coast. Realing the relationship with her mother is beyond repair she decides to try a new life in Italy. On the first day of her journey she takes a wrong turn off the main road and finds a picturesque town down a winding country road. A dramatic rescue finds Anna embraced by the community of the small fishing town of San Lavello. In San Lavello she finds a place to live, a job and some very special friends. What’s more, she starts to find her real self. Through Leonora, a former actress and Elisa, Anna begins to live her life the way she wants to live it. As the friendship with her boss, Dante, grows, apprehensively she starts falling in love with him. With the town of San Lavello under threat of development Anna finds herself helping to save the town she has come to love but can she start afresh while there are still unresolved issues at home?
How did you come to write this book?
It started as homework for my creative writing course and then it grew. It was my escape from life as a mother, wife and project managing a building site that was my home!!
What’s the opening paragraph?
“Anna was plucked from her thoughts by the arrival of her steaming coffee and slice of dreamy chocolate cake. It took her a couple of seconds to register that her order had just been for the coffee. She quickly turned round to inform Candy, the waitress, of her error when her eyes were met by the ample waistline of Hilary, the café’s owner.”
Katie said she would rather:
Sell a million copies but never win an award than win a Nobel Prize for Literature, but only sell twenty thousand copies.
Now for a bit of fun . . .
What’s the most exciting book you’ve read this year?
Too many to mention!
Describe your perfect weekend…
Sat on a veranda overlooking a lake, writing my next book with the children playing happily in the water with my husband.
Describe a more realistic weekend . . .
Taking children to swimming lessons, then on to parties, making sure school uniform is washed and ironed, homework is done, and meals prepared.
You’re having a dinner party and you can invite one writer, one musician, one monarch, and one villain. Who do you invite and why?
Writer – Shakespeare – I’d love to know the truth about where he got all his stories from.
Musician – Gary Barlow – Just love his stuff and he seems such a lovely guy
Monarch – Edward VIII – Ultimate love story, to give up the crown for the woman you love – that’s the romantic in me!
Villain – Clyde Barrow (Bonnie and Clyde) again a bit of a romantic team!!
President – George W. Bush – at least I know I would have someone I was more intelligent than!
You get to spend the afternoon with my six cats – heaven or hell? Explain!
Heaven—nothing more relaxing than stroking cats and watching them sunbathing!
Fill in the blanks—How did Katie finish these openers?
He took her trembling body in his manly arms . . .
. . . she felt herself melt into the blanket of safety that they offered.
He tipped his hat and turned away. After a few steps he stopped . . .
. . . what was he doing? His head was screaming at him to keep walking but in his heart he knew that if he walked away his life would be incomplete without her in it.
In the darkness, I heard the sound of . . .
. . . him breathing, I couldn’t believe my life was this perfect I had the man I loved and that was all I needed.
Word association—How did Katie respond to these word prompts?
Writer . . . worker
Bestseller . . . prize
Ambition . . . dream
Cheese . . . sauce
Now you get to ask me a question . . .
If you could be given any qualification what would it be?
Now that one got me thinking! I’d love to have a teaching qualification. I think I’d really enjoy the joint aspects of education that teaching involves: passing on knowledge, but always continuing to learn yourself