Author Kate Forsyth is visiting Kids’ Book Capers today to talk about her writing journey.
As Kate explains, she comes from a long line of storytellers.
My great-great-great-great-great-grandmother wrote the first children’s book published in Australia. Called ‘A Mother’s Offering to Her Children by a Lady Long Resident in New South Wales’, first editions are now worth $50,000 and no, I don’t have one! Maybe one day … Her daughter, Louise Atkinson, and my great-great-great-great-aunt, was Australia’s first Australian-born novelist. There have been all kinds of writers in the family since, and both my sister, Belinda Murrell, and my brother, Nick Humphrey, are published authors.
How did you become a writer?
I’ve wanted to be a writer, for as long as I can remember. I wrote poems and stories from the time I first held a pencil, then wrote my first novel when I was seven. I haven’t stopped since. As soon as I finish one book, I’m already daydreaming about the next. My first novel Dragonclaw was published when I was 30 so it seemed to me to take a very long time to get published, though everyone kept exclaiming how young I was!
I was lucky enough that Dragonclaw went on to become a bestseller both here and overseas, and so I’ve been able to write full-time ever since (13 years now!) I’ve written more than 20 books, ranging from picture books to books for children and young adults to adult novels, plus a collection of poetry. I feel so blessed that my lifelong dream has come true!
Do your books have any consistent themes/symbols/locations. If so, what are they?
Absolutely! I’ve come to realise that the deep, underlying theme to my books is nearly always the importance of connection between people – the importance of human love in all its forms. One of my all-time favourite epigraphs is ‘only connect” from E.M. Forster’s ‘Howard’s End’ – I want to paint it above my desk.
How many books have you had published?
The Wildkin’s Curse is my 23rd book.
What are you working on now?
The third book in the Chronicles of Estelliana, to be called ‘The Starkin Crown’. In that book, my hero Peregrine is the grandson of two of the main characters in ‘The Starthorn Tree’. It is the culmination of that day, during the writing of ‘The Starthorn Tree’ when Durrik opened his mouth and made a prophecy and all I could do was write down what he said in amazement and wonder.
Kate’s coming back to Kids’ Book Capers on Wednesday to talk about her beautiful new book, The Wildkin’s Curse.
So what’s your new book about, Kate?
The Wildkin’s Curse is a tale of true love and high adventure, set in a world of magic and monsters, valiant heroes and wicked villains. It tells the story of two boys and a girl who undertake the impossible task of rescuing a wildkin princess imprisoned in a crystal tower. Princess Rozalina has the power to enchant with words. She can conjure up a plague of rats, wish the dead out of their graves, and change people’s hearts and minds with her stories. As much a curse as a gift, her magic will be used for evil by the ruling starkin if she is not set free and taught to use her powers wisely.
On Wednesday Kate’s going to talk at Kids’ Book Capers about the inspiration behind her new book and how it all came together.
Kate is also appearing at Tuesday Writing Tips http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com tomorrow where she’ll be discussing To Plot or Not to Plot.