Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Novel Racer - Kate Kingsley

Today's Novel Racer is Kate Kingsley, http://thedeadbeatsnovelinprogress.blogspot.com/, and she has a wedding coming up. Reading the stresses she is going through through reminds me of all the one I have happily forgotten from almost sixteen years ago. Here's Kate in her own words:

"For as long as I can remember, I know that I wanted to be a writer. As a child I would read voraciously, and I made a few early forays into writing: I would take a book, any book, read a few pages and then rewrite them in a style which I found more to my taste. This early attempt at developing technique lead to a varied selection of adaptations, from Jeffrey Archer to Kafka by way of a chapter of an encyclopedia on wolves.

And then at some point it all stopped. I don't remember when or why. I continued to immerse myself in books, studying Literature at university and going so far as embarking upon a Masters in contemporary literature with a view to full time academic literary study and teaching. But the writing stopped. This was probably due to fear of failure, and I was extremely self-conscious about professing any authorly ambitions as I expected to receive a guffawing "You! A writer! Don't be so daft. Who do you think you are, anyway?" in response.

The idea never truly evaporated, and I sometimes wonder if denying my innate inclination to write may have contributed to the aimlessness of the years following university ~ when you dare not do the one thing you long to do, everything else seems a bit pointless. Eventually I realized that it was better to be laughed at then get to the age of 97 having never tried to live my dream. Around them same time, felicitously, I read a few awful books, and I just KNEW that I could do better. Some gentle encouragement from a poet friend and my fiancé, combined with an idea that buzzed in my head like an angry wasp and refused to go away until I wrote it, and here I am working my way through the first draft of my first novel, which is centred on a fictional rock band, The Deadbeats, in 1960's Newcastle. The draft is coming along slowly but surely, as over the last few years I took on a part-time psychology degree along with my full-time job, and I find that I am guilty of stretching my available time (and sanity) to snapping point.

I am currently writing under the (not quite my real) name of Kate Kingsley, although I have had a few modest successes with short stories and poetry under my "other" name. I suppose I started the blog under a variant identity because that little germ of self-consciousness is still there, and I didn't really want any family friends stumbling upon it and demanding to see what I'd produced so far. Hopefully I shall soon be in a position to "reveal" myself, but I have to admit I am rather enjoying the super-hero type dual identity!"

Budapest........well fabulous. Today as I write the sky is again blue and my head is ok. Once released from the clutches of the conference the Dh and I wandered the hot city streets looking for the perfect cafe to sit and sip a cold glass of wine. This was incredibly difficult because this part of the city is filled with open air cafes. Finally we elected one near the Cathedral where the view was great, the wine cold but questionable, and the salami fabulous. The view was stunning of the cathedral with piercing blue sky behind.

Then on the recommendation of an acquaintance we went to a restaurant called Nosztalgia. Well, it was. The decor was reminiscent of the pre WWI with live classical music being lead by a feisty violinist. I have posted a rather dodgy snap of the interior. The food was good but the atmosphere was a pleasure........such fun to half close your eyes and picture life here a hundred years ago. The closing of eyes had nothing to do with the copious quantities of the wine :-) Can't blame to the picture quality on that either. I wanted to capture it without flash!

Jen asked in the comment to the last post how my writing dilemma was going..........well, after a discuss with niece (28)and nephews 26 & 23) I am thinking about YA again. Why? You ask what books they remember and its the ones they read in their teens...........


Jan said...

Hello Liz.
Quite agree re getting to 97 and not having achieved the dream, although on second thoughts, actually getting to 97 IS quite an achievment itself!!

JJ said...

I feel quite unqualified from a writing point of view to comment on your YA dilemma, except that as an artist I know that when you're very close to something you've created (a painting or sculpture) one's perception of where it fits contextually can be flawed. Often people begin to make something in a genre or discipline that interests them, and it's difficult to persuade yourself that it fits better elsewhere. It takes lots of courage to change your perception. I think that during my teens was the most amazing reading time of my life, and definitely where my passion for books and words blossomed. I hope whatever you choose that you continue to enjoy it.


liz fenwick said...

Jan, yes gettingto 97 is quite an accomplishment as is acheiving your dream :-)

Thanks for your thoughts JJ. They do help!