Sunday, 15 March 2020

Killer Women Festival : Fresh Blood : Kate Bradley

Welcome to the third of my Killer Women Fresh Blood panellists, Kate Bradley. Kate has worked for years with vulnerable and marginalised individuals in prisons, mental health hospitals, and amongst the homeless. To Keep You Safe (Zaffre) is her first book. CJ Tudor called it, ‘strong and fast-paced; a change from the usual thriller.’

SH: Kate, your work with marginalised people must have been an influence on your writing. Did that make it easier or harder to create a fictional cast?

KB: Definitely easier. I've worked with many people with complex needs. In one role, I helped manage a large, multisite housing project, for many years. Working in and around people's homes, you obviously get to know the people you work with, really well. Although many of them had committed terrible crimes, it's right to set that aside and see the whole person. It's true their stories flavour my writing, but only from a distance. Up close, my characters are their own people and stubbornly so.

SH: Let’s talk about what happened after you’d finished your manuscript and started looking for a publisher. That road can be a rocky one. What was your experience, highs and lows?

KB: My experience was an unusual one. I met my editor, the epic Katherine Armstrong, through The WoMentoring Project (a project for 'undiscovered' writers). She was beyond generous, helping me with a previous script. That improved script saw me signed to Jane Gregory, who for obvious reasons, has always been my dream agent. Jane wanted me to write something new -- I did and then she pitched it to Katherine who bought it immediately before another publisher saw it. It sounds easy, but there was over a decade of struggle before that.

SH: There are so many new and interesting roads to being published now. What’s next for you?

KB: I’m thrilled that my next book - another psychological thriller - is coming out this time next year. I'm also working on another new one to keep me busy over the summer. I've been writing for years: I'm not sure I'd know how not to! What on earth would I do with my time?

Thanks, Kate!

You can buy To Keep You Safe here (supporting your local indie bookshop). Do join the discussion on Twitter where Kate can be found here.


christine said...

Hi! Interesting to hear about your work background, which has to be a rich source for material, especially in understanding how people tick. I was wondering which comes first for you - character or situation?

Kate Bradley said...

Hi Christine- thanks for your question. Character comes first for me. I think people are so interesting - I think of an intriguing facet of personality and then put that person in a difficult situation. Internal conflict plus external conflict equals story - do you agree? KB x

christine said...

I do. You have to care what happens to them in order to read on. x

Kate Bradley said...