Author name: Kathleen Jowitt
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Books: Speak Its Name (2016); A Spoke In The Wheel (2018)
When did you begin your writing career? I started writing Speak Its Name in autumn 2007; it took me six years to produce a draft that I was happy with, another year to try and fail to interest agents and publishers, and a further six months to prepare the book for publication myself.
What’s your approach to writing? Are you a “pantser” or a planner? I used to think I was a “pantser,” but the more I write, the less comfortable I am not knowing where I’m going, or how the scene I’m currently writing fits into the plot. I discovered quite early on that I needed to know what would constitute a satisfactory ending, and to write in that general direction, but now I seem to know more of what’s going to go in the middle, as well.
What’s your working style – morning or late-night writer? For preference, late morning, after I’ve been out for a long walk. But I have a full-time job, so in practice I write in spare moments. My most productive time is my hour’s commute to work – on the way home again I’m often too tired to write much!
Do you work at a computer or write long-hand? Both! I write long-hand on the train, and then type it up in the evenings. I often find that the process of typing the work up results in the addition of another couple of hundred words along the way, as I remember things that I meant to put in.
What gets those words flowing, coffee or tea? I start with coffee, and then switch to tea after the first cup. A couple of squares of dark chocolate also help!
Favorite book: The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. Long, complicated, and satisfying.
Favorite movie: The Titfield Thunderbolt – it’s an Ealing comedy about a group of villagers trying to save their railway line.
Favorite musician: Varies! At the moment I’m very into Rhiannon Giddens and Vienna Teng.
Awards/special recognition: Speak Its Name was the first self-published novel ever to be shortlisted for the prestigious Betty Trask Prize, which is awarded to the best debut by an author under the age of 35.
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