In 2013, I saw Kate Mosse speak at the Sydney Writers Festival. I found her sparky and passionate and I loved her funky platform shoes. She reminded me of a pretty English mistress from an Enid Blyton boarding school book. The following is taken from my scribbled notes; as so much time has passed since I wrote them (due to me being busy with my own Currawong Manor), I may be paraphrasing her a little, but what she said really resonated with me. I know from comments from other audience members of the audience that she inspired them too.
She spoke about her love of the old-fashioned adventure story and how she enjoys having women as the hero of her tales.
She is not very modern and is British to the core.
She sees the shadow of the past as being everywhere.
She spends about three quarters of her writing time on research and a quarter on writing the book.
When researching and writing, she reminds herself that real people died and that she’s telling their story. That we are part of a common bond and link of humanity.
To her the best fiction comes from lack of control rather than having a cast-iron control over the work. And she has to learn to let go.
For Citadel, she spent four years in research.
She described how her characters get her to follow them.
It’s love that matters in the end. Her father taught her this lesson from when he was away at war and his relationship with his family.
The lead character in her book is always the landscape.
She experienced an almost psychic experience once in a vision and eight years later, the character that appeared to her then came to her through a manuscript. But it took that length of time until the character was ready for Kate to write the story.
She does about three drafts of each of her books. Because she writes parallel time-lines she does one strand of the history line and then works on the other. With the second draft, she plaits them together.
I was so engrossed in her talk that I didn’t take as many notes as I would have liked. Which is always a good thing.
HERE is a link to an interview with the Sydney Morning Herald that she did when she was here for the Writers Festival.
And a link HERE where she discusses how landscape influences her writing
And another link HERE where she discusses her writing process in a fascinating conversation with writer Denise Mina.
And a link HERE to an interview with my writer friend Kate Forsyth.
Thanks for visiting me. Please share this post with your social media friends if you think they might be interested.
“The thing about The Taxidermist’s Daughter is people think it’s a big departure, but I quote the American writer Willa Cather at the beginning of the book ‘Let your fiction grow out of the land beneath your feet’ Kate Mosse.
Love and Light,