1. What is your name and where do you call home?
My name’s Kate Harrison and I live by the seaside down in Brighton – though I’ve also lived in Bristol, Birmingham and Barcelona (and lots of other places beginning with B).
2. What is the name of your most recent book and if you had to sum it up in 20 or less words, what would you say?
My latest book is Soul Fire, the second in the Soul Beach trilogy. Alice Forster tries to solve the mystery of her sister's murder in order to free her from Soul Beach - a virtual paradise populated only by the young, the beautiful and the dead!
3. Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I’m currently working on the third and final Soul Beach book in which Alice finally faces her sister’s killer – and her worst fears. It’ll be published next summer!
4. What or who inspired you to start writing? And how long have you been writing?
I was inspired as a child by reading books by authors like Noel Streatfeild and Roald Dahl – I began writing my own stories pretty much as soon as I could hold a pen. In fact, before that – there are some tapes of me as a very small girl nattering away about imaginary characters.
5. Who designed the cover of your book?
The fantastic team at Indigo, which is Orion’s young adult publishing brand, designed the look – I think they’re so vivid and gorgeous. The back cover of Soul Fire is as beautiful as a poster. They sum up the glamour and the drama to me.
6. Which is your favourite cover of all the books you have written?
I think it’s actually the South Korean version of Soul Beach – it’s so dramatic and enigmatic! It’s always exciting to see how foreign editions turn out. I also really like the cover of my new comedy, The Boot Camp – I love the silhouette effect and there’s a subtle sheen on the jacket.
7. How did you come up with the title for your book?
Well, we did debate using a single word, like Vigil or Trilogy. But Soul Beach is the place where everything happens so that seems to fit! In the second book, fire plays a huge part in the story – and in the third, well… you’ll have to wait and see.
8. Is there anything you would change about your book? And why?
Nothing major – because I’ve written the trilogy over three years, there’ve been a few details here and there that I’d have liked to have made slightly different, but overall I still love Alice, my central character, and am fascinated by the killer…
9. Do you have a book trailer? And what are your thoughts on book trailers?
Yes, it’s here: the team at Orion made it and I love it. I think book trailers are a fun way to get across the mood of a book. I think there are loads of exciting ways of engaging readers – trailers are just one, some of them haven’t even been invented yet. Exciting times!
10. Do you prefer e-books, paperbacks, hardcovers or audiobooks?
I like a mixture – I love sampling new books on my Kindle, like paperbacks for their durability, and hardbacks for the specialness. Audiobooks are great, but I must admit my attention sometimes wanders when I’m listening to one so I tend to stick to reading.
11. Have you ever read a book just based on its cover?
It’s really hard to pinpoint exactly why I’ve chosen a book – a lovely design will make me pick it up in a shop, but the description on the back, and the title, and the first page also play a part.
12. What is your favourite film based on a book?
The Commitments was originally a book by Roddy Doyle – I must admit I haven’t actually read the book but the movie is one of my favourites.
13. What is your favourite book genre at the moment?
I really tend to read around lots of genres: commercial fiction, thrillers, comedies. But I think young adult publishing is really exciting as there’s such a lot of variety.
14. What books have made it onto your wish list recently? And why?
My Kindle to-be-read list is SO long. I’ve got The Fault in our Stars by John Green, Before I Met You by Lisa Jewell, The Summer of Living Dangerously by Julie Cohen and about another 20 titles. Exciting but daunting as I am not planning a ‘proper’ holiday – pretty much my best time for reading, normally.
15. What book are you reading at the moment? And in what format?
I’m actually reading two – When I Fall in Love by Miranda Dickinson (I’ve been sent a preview on the Kindle, very lucky!) and Sanctus by Simon Toyne, who is an author I know in Brighton: that’s a signed paperback.
16. If you could invite any four celebrities (alive or dead) to your dinner party, who would you invite and why?
Ooh, I was talking about this only the other day: Queen Elizabeth the First, John Lennon, Oscar Wilde and George Clooney. I think the sparks might fly. Could be a long dinner party…
17. Do you have any advice for other writers? And what’s the best advice that you have been given when it comes to writing?
I’ve got lots of advice on my website – kate-harrison.com/for-writers – but if I had to pick just one, it’d be to play around with writing, trying out all the genres you love to read. If you want to have your work published, then readers like to know what to expect from you, so make sure you want to write similar books to your debut, to help build the ‘brand.’
And the best advice I’ve had is not to get too preoccupied with what everyone else is writing – simply to focus on my next project and make it the best book I can write.
18. Do you have any hobbies that aren’t related to reading & writing?
I love baking, and I’m also learning to make my own clothes – even though I hated sewing at school. But there are such funky fabric shops here in Brighton, really inspiring!
19. Where can your readers follow you?
Blog: via my news page, kate-harrison.com/news
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/KateHarrisonAuthorpage
Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview and allowing us a glimpse into your writing world!