Tuesday, May 07, 2013

When Kate Lord Brown Ran Away

Here's Kate story....

I'd always dreamt of travelling around the world, but university, and work had always come first. By my late twenties, I had a career I loved, curating art collections in Europe and the Middle East, a new husband, and a first home in Fulham that we had bought and renovated ourselves. Only occasionally among the whirl of projects, and life in London, (and learning to plaster walls, lay floorboards and tile bathrooms!), did that hunger for travel, for adventure, rise up. I remember walking home along the Thames at 4am from a friend's Millennium Eve party, talking about all that we hoped for in that New Year. I had no idea what was ahead.
That summer, my husband announced he was leaving his job. He wanted to follow his dream and learn to fly. It was one of those bombshells that blindside you, a clear crossroads where you can insist on travelling along the road you've carved out, or take a wild step out into the unknown. I chose that step - we ran away, from mortgages and the 9-5, from the life we had worked so hard to build. We took - literally - the road less travelled, and set out as rather old 'gap year' adventurers, travelling around the world with hand luggage.
After travelling for several months, exploring all the places we'd longed to see, through Asia, Mexico, across America, we settled in the orange groves of Valencia in Spain. My husband learnt to fly, and I learnt to write. It was there that the seeds for 'The Perfume Garden' were sown. It is, at a distance now of several years, amazingly easy to dismantle a life - and a hard road to rebuild it, but if there's one thing I've learnt you must always follow your gut instinct and life is too short to regret, occasionally, running away.
Kate latest book is The Perfume Garden...available here.

The Perfume Garden combines the gripping storytelling of Kate Morton with the evocative settings of Victoria Hislop to tell this sumptuous story of lost love and family secrets set between modern day Valencia and the Spanish Civil War. High in the hills of Valencia, a forgotten house guards its secrets. Untouched since Franco's forces tore through Spain in 1936, the whitewashed walls have crumbled, the garden, laden with orange blossom, grown wild. Emma Temple is the first to unlock its doors in seventy years. Guided by a series of letters and a key bequeathed in her mother's will, she has left her job as London's leading perfumier to restore this dilapidated villa to its former glory. It is the perfect retreat: a wilderness redolent with strange and exotic scents, heavy with the colours and sounds of a foreign time. But for her grandmother, Freya, a British nurse who stayed here during Spain's devastating civil war, Emma's new home evokes terrible memories. As the house begins to give up its secrets, Emma is drawn deeper into Freya's story: one of crushed idealism, lost love, and families ripped apart by war. She soon realises it is one thing letting go of the past, but another when it won't let go of you.

Here's a bit about Kate...
Kate grew up in a wild and beautiful part of Devon, and was first published while at school. After reading Philosophy at Durham and Art History at the Courtauld Institute, she worked as an art consultant, curating collections for palaces and embassies in Europe and the Middle East. Kate was a finalist in the ITV's The People's Author competition 2009. She lives in the Middle East with her family, and is working on her next novel.

For more information visit Kate's website www.katelordbrown.com


Edith said...

Gosh Kate, I don't know if I could be as brave as you were, but I certainly used to dream of doing just that - running away! Your novel sounds wonderful and I shall have to order a copy in my local bookshop!

Kate Lord Brown said...

Thank you, Edith - not sure if I was brave or blinded by love ;)

Thanks, Liz, for inviting me - and all the best for your launch! x

Liz Fenwick said...

Thanks Kate for joining in!

Edith thanks for stopping by!