Welcome to my stop on Kate Hunter’s Common Cause blog tour with Love Books Tours!
Many thanks to Kelly @ Love Books Tours for arranging the following interview with Kate Hunter…..
For those who don’t know already, could you tell us about yourself and your book(s) please?
When I’m not writing I’m either out campaigning – Homes for All, Justice for Grenfell, scrap Universal Credit, for instance – or I’m earning a few bob doing gardening jobs. Both indirectly influence my writing, the first because it keeps me grounded, the second because manual work complements writing. And my books are fictionalised explorations of real events that involve manual work and campaigns.
Where did/do you get your ideas from
From people – past and present – and their relationships.
Are any of your characters based (however loosely) on anyone you know?
I guess they’re all based to some extent on people I know or have known. Someone who asked, jokingly, for a cameo appearance in my next book got one in Common Cause. Bad idea. I sensed the intrusion of my actual world threatening the world I was creating.
How do you pick your characters’ names?
A simple monosyllabic name for Iza Orr, whose story this is, felt right. Her family’s names come from the 1911 census entry for my grandmother’s family, other characters from a 1913 list of Edinburgh print trade union members, with some names of elderly neighbours from my childhood.
Can you share your writing process with us, in a nutshell?
For my novels, tons of research, most of which I don’t use directly; start writing very early morning and keep going till lunchtime; finish a session by taking stock and deciding where I’m going next.
Who are your top 5 favourite authors?
Lucia Berlin, Jose Saramago, Franz Kafka, Flannery O’Connor, Akala. Tomorrow I’d come up with a different five.
If you could meet any author, who would it be and what would you ask them?
Lucia (pronounced Looseeah) Berlin. I’d go to ask her if she fancies a tequila then remember, she’s been off the booze for years and that’s allowing her to produce her best work.
Were you a big reader as a child?
Dad took us to the local library when we were very young, but I was happier building gang huts and climbing trees with my chums. Books became my other, wide, wide world during difficult teenage years.
When did you start to write?
‘Don’t you go thinking that means you’re clever’ said my horrible teacher when I won a prize in a national essay competition when I was nine. That knocked me, but somewhere deep down it must have lodged in me that this was something I could do. Though I’ve had a need to write all my working life, I didn’t manage to properly commit myself till I retired and had the wherewithall.
If you could re-write the ending to any book what would it be and what would you change?
Is there a book you wish you had written?
While I’d think about changing the ending of Common Cause to please Christine who read drafts, I’d decide to please myself.
If you wrote an autobiography, what would your title be?
I wouldn’t write one. Other people are more interesting.
If you could invite any fictional character for coffee who would it be and where would you take them?
Mrs Sinclair from Common Cause – to apologise for being mean to her. Might lash out on food at the Lobster Shack in North Berwick. I can just see her picking wee pink strands from her teeth. Woops. Looks like I’m not ready to make amends, which is a shame. I truly value the humane.
What are you working on right now?
Looking forward to either reworking some short stories and a long poem or starting to jot down ideas for a novel that are starting to bubble away. Not sure which.
Tell us about your last release?
The Caseroom was shortlisted for the Saltire First Book Award in 2017 and was a Morning Star book of the year.
Do you have a new release due?
Common Cause carries on the story. Enough people said they wanted more.
What do you generally do to celebrate on publication day?
Gulp, thinking who’d have imagined this could happen.
How can readers keep in touch with you?
@KateHun06517271 on Twitter, I’m on Facebook too –
And through Fledgling Press. I’d love to hear from you.
Is there anything else you would like us to know?
Not really. I think you’ve covered pretty much everything.
Many thanks for taking the time to answer my questions, Kate 🙂
It’s 1915 and Britain is at war as Kate Hunter’s sequel to The Caseroom – shortlisted for the 2017 Saltire First Book Award – opens on the next stage in the lives of Iza Orr, skilled compositor, and the workers in Edinburgh’s print industry. At a time of momentous events, we step alongside Iza as she copes with unexpected complexities of patriotism, women’s suffrage, worker victimisation and a historic wartime lockout. `It seems the country needs starched cloth-lappers and lunatic asylum attendants, but it does not need books, does not need learning and intellectual stimulation.’ Printers are denied reserved occupation status but, with bankruptcies looming, the jobs of Edinburgh’s dwindling number of female hand typesetters are on the line. Riven by challenges both political and personal, Iza must weather conflicting calls for loyalty to nation, to class, to gender, to family – her marriage to troubled John, her children, her estranged daughter Mary, now a grown woman – to discover her true common cause.
happy reading 🙂