Our Feature this week is on: Kate Hardy. She has a new book out this month, The Body at Rookery Barn.
She’s won three Romantic Novelists’ Association awards for her romantic fiction – and is thoroughly enjoying her new life of crime! When she’s not writing or researching, she’ll be out at a gig or the theatre, at ballet class, doing cross-stitch, taking photographs of the sunrise while persuading the spaniels to stay still for one second, fossicking around on a beach or in archives, or exploring ancient buildings.
She loves learning new things, which is why you’ll always discover something different in a Kate Hardy book…
Kate Hardy on the web:
* What are common traps for new writers?
Some of the most common:
• Telling instead of showing – better to use action and dialogue to show the story happening. That means your readers are more likely to bond with your characters, and it also improves the pace.
• Overuse of adjectives – less is more - we don’t need to know that your heroine puts on a knee-length, green, cotton, vintage wrap-over skirt.
• Infodump – see the skirt description above. Better to drip-feed information!
• Speech tags – if you try and use lots of different synonyms for ‘said’, it’s likely to pull the reader out of the story. (The reader’s eye skates over ‘said’.) Also, you can break up speech with action to make it clear who’s talking. Oh, and you can’t ‘smile’ a sentence. Or hiss one that doesn’t have sibilants
* Do you also write non-fiction?
Yes – as a journalist, I wrote a lot of articles on women’s health and children’s/babies’ health; this is why Mills & Boon asked me to write my medical romances under a different name, i.e. to put some distance between my fiction and my non-fiction.
I’ve also written local history books. (Including one on poison… which came in rather handy for my first crime book!)
* Do you read non-fiction? If yes, then what do you read?
Anything and everything! I do love historical eyewitness accounts, and I’m also a sucker for books about medicine. (Particularly historical. You can see where this is going, can’t you?)
* A recent book you read which changed your perspective?
Death by Shakespeare by Kathryn Harkup – taught me a lot about law and medicine in Renaissance England.
* Tell us about your book...
It’s about a deaf, widowed photographer who’s learning to put her life back together again, and a policeman who’s having to rethink his career. It’s also about someone who’s murdered (but you’re might find yourself sympathising with the murderer – hang on, is that what you’re supposed to do?). It’s about friendship, family and love. And in between there are a couple of mysteries to solve…
The Body at Rookery Barn: A totally gripping cozy mystery (A Georgina Drake Mystery Book 1)
Completely shaken by the discovery, Georgina can hardly believe it when the police conclude that