Today I’m happy to announce that Kate Field is joining us for Five on Friday. I have Kate’s books patiently waiting on my mountainous Kindle tbr. I’m hoping that after learning more about Kate, and her books, you’ll also be tempted to read them – hopefully a bit quicker than me!
Kate writes contemporary women’s fiction, mainly set in her favourite county of Lancashire, where she lives with her husband, daughter and hyperactive cat. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association. Kate’s debut novel, The Magic of Ramblings, won the RNA’s Joan Hessayon Award for new writers in 2017.
Which 5 pieces of music/songs would you include in the soundtrack to your life and why?
‘Take on Me’ by a-ha. It came out when I was a teenager and the whole package – a catchy song, imaginative video, and handsome Norwegian men – hooked me like no other music had done up to that point. I became a huge fan, buying every record, joining the fan club, and collecting every copy of Smash Hits in which they appeared. I still listen to a-ha, much to my daughter’s disgust.
‘Love is all Around’ by Wet Wet Wet. This song makes me think of my wedding, back in the 1990s. It was only a small do, with no evening reception, so there was no first dance or anything like that. But the day before the wedding, I watched ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ for the first time with my bridesmaid, and the soundtrack featured this song. I remember watching the film and thinking, ‘Crikey, this is actually happening’ – in a good way, of course!
‘17 Again’ by the Eurythmics. One of our first holidays as a married couple was spent driving round the Kent and Sussex countryside listening to the album ‘Peace’ that featured this song. Although it was a long time ago, it’s one of the holidays I remember most clearly. I was writing my first novel at the time, a Regency romance, and spent many hours sitting in a wing-back leather chair in an old barn thick with cobwebs, scribbling away.
‘The Wheels on the Bus’. My daughter was very late to start talking, although she communicated effectively with a series of noises and gestures. One day, when she was almost three, we were sitting at a table sticking and gluing when I heard an indistinct but recognisable version of Wheels on the Bus drift across the table. It was an incredible moment.
‘Tonight we Fly’ by The Divine Comedy. I love The Divine Comedy’s music – the soaring melodies, and the way they can tell a complete story in a song – but this is one of my favourites. I particularly like the last few lines about not missing out as this life is the best we have.
Highlight 5 things (apart from family and friends) you’d find it hard to live without.
Books. It has to be the top answer. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t read, and I can’t imagine a time in the future when I won’t.
Ribena. I don’t drink tea or coffee, so this is my drink of choice. There’s something extremely comforting about a hot Ribena on a cold day.
Holidays. We try to have at least two every year, three if we’re lucky. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – quite often we hole up in a tiny cottage in the UK, dodging rain showers – but getting away from the routine of daily life, and seeing somewhere different, always leaves me feeling more cheerful and inspired.
Hair straighteners. I wish they had been invented when I was a teenager. It would have saved a lot of angst!
Pen and paper. I like the physical act of writing, of seeing words produced on the page, even if it’s nothing more interesting than a shopping list.
Can you offer 5 pieces of advice you’d give to your younger self?
Don’t be so self-conscious. No one is looking at you.
Don’t put off having a family because you’re busy at work and the boss wouldn’t like it.
Talk properly to your grandparents. Ask them about their lives before it’s too late.
Don’t let shyness limit what you do and who you meet.
Ignore the hairdresser who wants to cut your hair short and layered. It will never grow back properly.
Tell us 5 things that most people don’t know about you.
I was born with ‘clicky hips’, which means that my hips hadn’t developed fully before I was born. I spent the first months of my life with my legs in plaster, fixed in a V shape, and my dad had to adapt the furniture so I could lie in a cot and sit in a chair. There are no photos of me from those early months, so I often used to wonder if I’d been adopted!
Continuing the health theme, I suffered a knee injury in my first year at secondary school, and wasn’t able to join in with PE for the rest of my time at school. I had to spend PE lessons helping the librarian instead – no hardship for a bookish, unsporty child!
My nickname at primary school was ‘shrimp’, as I blushed so often that I was always pink. It’s not something I’ve ever grown out of.
Both my parents are only children, so I have no aunts, uncles or cousins. I’ve always wished I could have belonged to a large family.
I have an A level in Latin. It hasn’t proved particularly useful so far.
What are the first 5 things you’d have on your bucket list?
To see the Northern Lights.
To visit the Scilly Isles.
To spend a month living in London, visiting the museums and galleries, going to the theatre and concerts, walking in the parks, and generally seeing what city life is like.
To volunteer at a stately home.
To own a Mulberry handbag.
Thanks so much for sharing with us Kate. I’m with you om holidays – they don’t have to be grand or exotic but just a break from the daily routine. As a teenager I insisted a hairdresser cut my waist length hair, short and layered like David Cassidy’s – not my best idea I should have had some-one to better advise me (though I suspect I wouldn’t have listened). I suspect lots of us also wished we could have ditched PE to help in the library. Good luck with your bucket list – I’d like to see the Northern Lights too.
o – 0 – o
Sometimes the hardest person to be honest with is yourself…
Five years ago Helen Walters walked out on her ‘perfect’ life with the ‘perfect’ man. Wealthy, glamorous and bored, she longed for something more.
Now a talented artist with a small business, Helen creates crazy patchwork crafts to support her young daughter, Megan. Penniless, content and single, she is almost unrecognisable.
But when her past unexpectedly collides with her new life, Helen finds herself torn. She knows what the easiest choice is, but is it what she wants?
Running away can be the answer if you run to the right place…
When Cassie accepts a job as companion to Frances, an old lady living in a remote Lancashire village, she hopes for a quiet life where she can forget herself, her past and most especially men. The last thing she expects is to be drawn into saving a community that seems determined to take her to its heart – and to resuscitate hers…
Frances has lived a reclusive life at Ramblings, a Victorian Gothic mansion, for many years. So why now does she advertise for a companion and welcome strangers into her house?
Barney is hiding away at Ramblings, forging a new life as a farmer after his medical career ended in scandal. He doesn’t trust the mysterious woman who comes to live with his rich aunt, especially when she starts to steal Frances’ affection – and maybe his own too…
Can love, friendship, and the magic of Ramblings overcome the secrets of the past and unlock a brighter future?
You can keep up to date with Kate via
Twitter @katehas words