I worked on The Crimson Ribbon for almost four years before I got a publishing deal. During that time I wrote short stories, had a few publications in magazines and online, and won a couple of competitions. I’m sure all those things helped when it came to attracting a literary agent. I decided I wanted to try the traditional publishing route and worked hard on preparing submissions. I was lucky to be signed up by a great agent pretty quickly. We worked together on another draft of the manuscript before it got sent out to a select group of publishers. The day I got the call was one of the most memorable of my life – a dream come true. Once the deal with Headline was signed, I worked with my editor on a final draft and copy edits. It’s been a steep learning curve to publication and I’m sure it’s only the beginning.
What do you love about being an author?
I love that I’m finally getting to do the thing I’ve always dreamed of. I love being able to lose myself in my work. I’m a total history buff and write historical fiction, so I get to spend time in my imagined versions of the past. When the writing is going well, everything else is good. There is nothing quite like the quiet joy of a productive writing day.
If your book was to be made into a movie, who would you cast as the leads?
Great question. I’m a huge fan of historical adaptations so I’ve thought about this a lot. The problem is, I have a clear idea in my own mind of what my characters look like, so I can never find a match. I would have to leave the casting to others. But ideally I would pick relatively unknown actors in the lead roles. Sometimes, big names carry too many associations.
17th century England, of course! I’ve been researching and writing this period for years now and I’m still not tired of it. I would love to drop into London in the 1640’s, to experience the sights, sounds and smells, but also the early years of the Restoration period. Charles II’s court would have been a lot of fun.
What life advice do you wish you’d been given sooner?
To not listen to the negative voice in my head. I wasted a lot of valuable time not writing because I thought I would never be any good.
Where do you write best?
At home, in a quiet space. I also like to take myself off on writing retreats from time to time. I find being alone, away from the concerns of day-to-day life, is always productive.
What was the last book you read, and what were your thoughts on it?
I just read Evelyn Waugh’s A Handful of Dust. I adore Waugh’s beautiful prose, clever characterization and dark humour. There are some excellent short paragraphs in this book; a good lesson in the power of economical writing. And the characters are believable, amusing and tragic in lots of ways. Loved it.
If you didn’t write in your genre, which other would you prefer and why?
I don’t know – it’s always been historical for me. Historical allows me to create other worlds in the same way that fantasy or horror might, so perhaps I’d go for one of those.
Where can fans find you online?
On Twitter @KL_Clements
On Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/KatherineClements