Interview with a Wordsmith #1: Kate Baucherel

As an indie author, I am, as regular readers will be aware, a bit of an advocate for indie novelists. But while my reviews may entertain, and hopefully even point some of you in the direction of books which you will love and cherish but would have escaped your notice otherwise, authors themselves fascinate me almost as much as the books they write. As such, because its a way to get them to answer my questions, I am going to start doing the odd interview with indie writers, in order to illuminate and entertain you lucky readers…

First up is the delightful Kate Baucherel who as it happens has a new novel out today, Hacked Future. This is a sequel to the very fine Bitcoin Hurricane which I reviewed last year, follow the link for that review, a free preview of that novel and a chance to read one of the best near-future novels I have read in many a year. I haven’t read the sequel yet, but it is on my to-do list and I am sure I will get to review it in time. But enough from me on with the interview…

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 What was the first book/author you really connected to, that made you want to write yourself?

I’ve been a voracious reader since early childhood and was caught with a Dr Who book under my desk aged about seven. Early favourites were John Wyndham and Ray Bradbury, then David Brin and Iain M. Banks. I had an old typewriter when I was young and spent a lot of time writing terrible short stories and even a script based around sci-fi shows and films of the day (I was an only child which explains a lot). At the time, my dad was on sabbatical writing a management book, which sadly never got published, and after he died I found that manuscript, some of his own memoirs, and a surprise comedy script for ‘Spamlet’ written in the 1950s and complete with a BBC rejection letter signed by Frank Muir!

What do you feel drives you to be a writer?

I started out because I was challenged to deliver something educational and accessible about cybersecurity. The first time I felt the characters running away from me I was hooked by the sensation of creating fiction. It’s an extraordinary feeling when the words flow without passing through the conscious mind.

Where, when and how do you do the majority of your writing?

I bought a laptop with some of my Bitcoin profits so I write wherever I can, whenever inspiration strikes or a deadline is looming. My favourite spot is in the garden a long way from any distractions, but I once managed most of a chapter on a transatlantic flight. I can normally be found typing at the side of the pool when my kids are competing in swimming galas. Bitcoin Hurricane got its final touches at Sheffield Ponds Forge and Hacked Future at the Commonwealth pool in Manchester.

What’s the favourite/most unexpected reaction you have had to one of your novels?

Praise! After being dismissed by my English teacher, who really didn’t like my concise style, writing fiction for an audience wasn’t something I ever expected to do.

What’s the oddest question anyone has ever asked you about one of your books?

Many people think that Bitcoin Hurricane is a cryptocurrency trading manual, and it has been riding quite high in non-fiction categories alongside some very worthy real texts on blockchain technology. It was actually published before Bitcoin started its meteoric rise. My publisher was dubious about the title, thinking that no-one would know what it meant.

What’s your favourite/worst, form of procrastination?

Currently playing Crash Bandicoot on Nintendo Switch. Angry Birds Pop has a lot to answer for as well. Oh, and Twitter.

What genre, other than the one you usually write in, would you most like to try your hand at?

I’d love to push the sci-fi boundaries out to new worlds, and equally to bring a story into the present day or near past.

Which writers do you think most inspire your own writing?

I’m massively into the Expanse novels by James S.A Corey at the moment. Aside from the first two which seem to run together, the characters are placed in very different situations, often with many years passing between each book. I also like Samantha Hayes psychological thrillers, with multiple threads gradually resolving. Sam and I were actually in the same class at school!

What’s the worst thing you have ever done to one of your characters?

One poor bloke ends up in a train crash in the first novel, which I didn’t know was going to happen until it did, and then contracts a horrible virus in the second. I felt very sorry for him.

One of my favourite Hemmingway quotes is ‘write drunk, edit sober’ what’s your favoured tipple if your writing?

Rum works when I’m in the mood, otherwise a good glass of wine.

What one piece of advice would you give anyone who wanted to write?

Let it flow. Just keep writing. You can go back and change it later.

What do you love/hate most about writing?

Love: The unexpected. Characters and situations don’t always run to plan, which is bizarre.

Hate: When inspiration simply doesn’t strike and I know I have to push through to get the damn thing finished!

There is a strange phenomenon on the internet and Twitter in general of Authors cats. Several authors have started putting up daily pictures of their cats, as a running monologue of their lives, and more are doing every day it seems. It’s all become a bit weird… Do you own a cat?

I have two cats at the moment, rescue kittens called Fred and Layla. There are plenty of cat shenanigans in my books. Some of these are based on incidents with my own cats past and present, others are pure invention.

 

Many thanks to kate for volunteering to be the first victim, erm, interviewee. As I mentioned her second novel comes out today. So it would be somewhat lax of me to neglect to put a link up for it. So here you go. Have a read of the free preview, then go read the first novel, and this one. Buy them as a pair in fact…

The Futures Bright for K R Baucherel I am sure, I for one am looking forward to reading her new one. And if there are enough swimming gala’s coming up I am sure there will be a third novel to look forward to in the none too distant future…

 

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