Today I’m getting to know author Katy Haye, who’s arrived a little out of breath. I live in a hilly part of the world here in Yorkshire, and the steepness of the streets can sometimes be striking to people who live in flatter parts of England. (I have a friend who lives in Northamptonshire, and when he comes to visit, he tells me even the gentle incline to my house is giving him vertigo.)
I’ll let Katy get her breath back with a cup of tea. Welcome to Yorkshire, Kate!
Where do you live, Katy? I live in Lincoln, within sight and walking distance of our magnificent medieval castle and cathedral. Walking around the castle as a child prompted a love of stories from history which fed my love of stories and my desire to write them.
I love Lincoln Cathedral, too, and it really is magnificent. Because the countryside is so flat you can see it for miles.
Where is your favourite place in the world? My favourite place in the world is probably inside a book! What I love most about books is the way they can transport you to literally anywhere – past, present or future, on this planet, another one or one that doesn’t even exist. I’ll never grow tired of stepping into another life through words. Plus, there’s no hassle of getting there or dealing with transport delays, passport checks or parking!
If you want an actual, physical place, I’m a bit of a tree-hugger, so my favourite place is probably in my garden or on the allotment, attempting to maintain order against the weeds that never stop growing.
What a great answer! You can’t beat a book for transporting you to Mars or Northanger Abbey, or Westeros or Green Gables. How else could you visit those places?
Being a writer is a great job. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? Well, I have the usual writer CV of all sorts of strange jobs, but the one that comes to mind was when I went on a working visa to Australia and applied for a job as a chambermaid in a hotel. I was invited to join the staff for a trial morning, cleaning rooms, making beds, etc. Now, I’m first to admit I’m not the world’s most stringent housekeeper – I hated every moment and I was clearly useless since they didn’t invite me back. They also didn’t pay me which was the only reason I stayed to the end of the morning!
When I worked in a hotel, we had a similar chambermaid. She was great fun, and I really liked her. The guests weren’t so keen, though – especially after she got caught cleaning the bath with a customer’s flannel. That didn’t go down well at all!
What book do you wish you’d written? This is going to sound unbearably cheesy, but I genuinely don’t hanker to write anyone else’s books, I’m very happy with my own – I just want them to get better and better. With other writers I admire I love the feeling of being able to pick up their book and vanish into the story, knowing I’m safe in their hands. That security to let go my analytical writer’s head and relax into a book is a priceless feeling.
Lovely way to describe it.
What’s your favourite song? I have a soft spot for Dream a Little Dream, made famous by Ella Fitzgerald. When Offspring was a baby I sang that at bedtime. If it’s to listen to (or get inspiration from), I usually go for something a bit more rocky – I love anything by Queen.
Me, too! I would have loved to have met Freddie Mercury, which leads me to…
If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you say to them? Oh, d’you know, it’d be Terry Pratchett, and I’d say Thank You. The man was a genius and I was devastated by his illness and death.
What’s your happiest childhood memory? There was a spectacularly snowy winter when I was still at primary school. We lived waay out in the sticks in rural Lincolnshire, and with my brother and my dad we built an igloo (probably during “snow” days – with most of the children at school being in from some distance there would have been several of those while the minor roads were cleared). It was entirely ace – big enough for several children to fit inside and with a low entrance passageway that was hard for anyone bigger than a child to wriggle through. The next school day me and my brother hid in it when our neighbour came to walk us to the bus stop. It took ages to find us and we were giggling like hyenas when they finally did – it was probably that which gave us away in the end!
What a delightful memory!
If you had to marry a fictional character, from film, television, or books, who would it be? Can I start by bucking the trend of every woman in the western world and saying not Mr Darcy? This question took a lot of thought, but in the end I’d pick Davy Rice from Steven Gould’s fantastic sci-fi novel Jumper. Davy is strong despite (or, of course, due to) having endured some very tough times, he has a fantastic moral compass and he can teleport. Best of all, that superpower transfers itself to others if you stick around him long enough!
I haven’t read that book, or seen the film. It sounds a great read, from your description. On my to-read list!
What’s the most important lesson life has taught you? Perseverance! Offspring is fed up of hearing me say that perseverance is the most important thing in life, but I truly believe it is. You can achieve ANYTHING if you just stick at it. In fact, the only way you can fail to achieve what you want is to give up – otherwise you are getting there, however slow your progress may seem. Case in point – I spent 15 years writing a book a year before I published and started finding my readership.
You’re a brilliant example to your offspring!
And finally, please tell us about your latest book, where we can find it, and where we can find your blog/website
Zan knows she’s different. Today she discovers why …
Zanzibar MacKenzie knows she’s a freak. She has EHS – electrical hypersensitivity – which leaves her trying to live a Stone Age life in the twenty-first century: no internet, no phone, no point really. Then Thanriel knocks on her door and the dull summer holiday becomes maybe too exciting. Zan discovers fairies and angels are real beings from other planets, she herself is half alien, and the future of life on Earth rests on her shoulders.
You can find out more about me, my books, and my blog on reading and writing at www.katyhaye.com or chat to me on Twitter @katyhaye
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The Last Gatekeeper sounds an exciting read! Thanks so much for your thoughtful answers, Katy. It’s been great getting to know you. I wish you a safe journey home to Lincolnshire!
If you’ve enjoyed Katy’s interview, or have any questions or comments at all, please let us know. We’d love to