Today is my stop on the What Kitty Did Next blog tour and I am pleased to welcome Carrie Kablean on to the blog with a quick interview! She’s come up with some intriguing answers!
What is your favourite thing about writing books?
This is my first novel and once I had started I found myself thinking about Kitty and her world all the time, so it was a little escapist – in a good way! Another time, another place – and imagining what England was like in the early 19th century. Not just imagining, there was lots of historical detail to get right and I found I really enjoyed going down those rabbit holes of research. Quite long journeys sometimes!
Who is your favourite character in your book and why?
Kitty is my favourite character, of course! I always felt a bit sorry for Kitty; she was overlooked and dismissed as silly – but who isn’t a bit silly in their teens? Nobody really paid her any attention (except to tell her to stop coughing!). I felt the need to ameliorate her somehow. Give her a second chance.
What is your favourite drink to consume while writing?
Earl grey tea, lots of it. A glass of sauvignon blanc is quite restorative, too!
Do you have any bad habits while you’re writing?
Yes, I found writing slouched on the sofa with my laptop wasn’t optimum in the long run!
How do you research your books?
By reading history books, and everything by and about Jane Austen; visiting various historic houses and places where Jane Austen novels have been filmed; libraries; and my good friend Mr Google … I get very caught up in the research, not just because I want to get it right but because it becomes fascinating, whether it’s fichus or frost fairs.
Are you a plotter or a pantser?
More of a plotter in that I need to have an idea of where the story is going, and why, but that doesn’t mean that everything is set in stone. The characters surprise me with their actions if I let them have some freedom and take some unexpected turns.
If you could live in any fictional world, which would you choose and why?
Oh, that’s difficult! I know it’s not fictional, but I am fascinated by Tudor England although I’m not sure I’d want to live there all the time. If I could pop back for a week or two during the early reign of Henry VIII that would fuel a few novels. I’d want to be someone rich and privileged though, not the boy who turns the spit in the Tudor kitchens!
If you could befriend any fictional character, who would you choose and why?
I’ve given this some thought and the people whose characters appeal to me most – among them Becky Sharp, Lizzy Bennet, James Bond, Daenerys Targaryen, Severus Snape, The Cat in a Hat and Hermione Granger – are all adventurous and daring in their different ways but don’t strike me as people in need of friends. I think I’ll go with Hermione because she’s intelligent, attractive and a top witch! And she’d be a good friend to have in a crisis! Then again, The Cat in a Hat is lots of fun and very naughty…
About the book
England, 1813 – Nineteen-year-old Catherine Bennet lives in the shadow of her two eldest sisters, Elizabeth and Jane, who have both made excellent marriages. No one expects Kitty to amount to anything. Left at home in rural Hertfordshire with her neurotic and nagging mother, and a father who derides her as ‘silly and ignorant’, Kitty is lonely, diffident and at a loss as to how to improve her situation. When her world unexpectedly expands to London and the Darcy’s magnificent country estate in Derbyshire, she is overjoyed. Keen to impress this new society, and to change her family’s prejudice, Kitty does everything she can to improve her mind and manners – and for the first time feels liked and respected. However, one fateful night at Pemberley, a series of events and misunderstandings conspire to ruin Kitty’s reputation. Accused of theft – a crime worse almost worse than murder among the Georgian aristocracy – she is sent back home in disgrace. But Kitty has learnt from her new experiences and what she does next does next will not only surprise herself, but everyone else too.
Based on Jane Austen’s much-loved characters, this is the story of one young woman’s struggle to overcome the obstacles of her time and place and truly find herself.
About the Author
Carrie Kablean began her career in London, where she was born, and now lives in Australia. Arriving in Sydney in 1990 (via eight years in Papua New Guinea, during which time she edited the local newspaper on Bougainville), she was with The Australian newspaper for more than 20 years, and was, concurrently, a theatre critic for the Sunday Telegraph..