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Kate Beaufoy

Kate BeaufoyKate Beaufoy has an MA in French and English literature from Trinity College, Dublin. She began her career as a professional actor – winning a Dublin Theatre Festival Best Actress award – before becoming a fulltime writer. As Kate Thompson she has had a dozen novels published, including the Number One bestseller ‘The Blue Hour’, which was shortlisted for the RNA award. Kate’s novels have been translated into French, German, Greek, Italian, Czech and Dutch. She has contributed to numerous newspapers and magazines in Ireland and the UK, written and broadcast for RTE, and is regularly invited to participate in literary events across the media. As Kate Beaufoy her first novel – the critically acclaimed ‘Liberty Silk’ – spent four weeks on the Irish Times bestseller chart. Her latest novel – ‘Another Heartbeat in the House’ – charted last summer and has been shortlisted in the popular fiction category in the Irish Book Awards 2015. Kate lives some of the year in Dublin and some on the West coast of Ireland. She is an advanced-level scuba diver, a wild swimmer, a keen practitioner of Bikram yoga, and the fond keeper of a bewitching Burmese cat.

  1. Can you tell us what your new book ‘Another Heartbeat In The House’ is about?
    ‘Another Heartbeat’ is a story within a story. One strand of the novel concerns Edie Chadwick, a young woman working in a London publishing house; the other chronicles the fortunes of a 19th century adventuress and possible inspiration for Becky Sharp, one of the wickedest and most engaging heroines of all time.
  2. To the readers of the website, can you tell us about yourself and how you got into writing.
    I was utterly clueless when I embarked on my writing career; I simply decided that after nine consecutive years working as an actress in a soap opera, it was time for a change. Once I had made the decision to quit the day job I worked extremely hard – twelve hour days were not uncommon. I was also very, very lucky; my first novel (‘It Means Mischief’, written under my stage name, Kate Thompson) was accepted by the third publisher I approached, and that secured me an agent.
  3. What’s your favourite opening line from a book?
    ‘Scarlett O’Hara was not beautiful, but men seldom realised it.’
  4. As well as being an author, you are also an actress, what do you prefer creating the character or acting the character?
    Creating a character on the page means that you call the shots – although most authors will tell you that the best characters take over and sometimes obdurately refuse to do your bidding! I’ve found that I get more of a creative buzz from writing, although I sorely miss my ‘tribe’ of fellow actors.
  5. If you were to start your own club, what authors would you ask to join?
    An authors’ club sounds rather elitist! To paraphrase Groucho Marx, I’m not sure that I would want to belong to any club that would accept me as a member … However, two of my very best friends – fellow-writers Marian Keyes and Hilary Reynolds – are keen hill-walkers, so we all three share ideas and suggest solutions to knotty plot conundrums while stomping up and down the Wicklow Mountains.
  6. What is your favourite part of the writing process?
    Many writers loathe it, but I love the editing process: I am blessed with an editor – Harriet Bourton – whom I trust absolutely.
  7. What is your favourite book of all time?
    William Thackeray’s ‘Vanity Fair’.
  8. If you could rewrite any story, which one would you chose?
    Peter Pan. I used to love reading it aloud to my daughter as her bedtime story, but the end – when Peter finds out that Wendy has grown up and can no longer fly – always made me cry inconsolably. In my version, I’d allow poor Wendy one last chance to fly with Peter.
  9. What area do you suggest a budding writer should concentrate on to further their abilities?
    Read. Read as much and as often as you can. Haunt your local library, get to know your librarians and ask them for advice. Libraries are a fantastic resource.
  10. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three books would you bring with you to pass the time?
    May I bring the complete works of Tove Jansson? Her Moomintroll stories are crammed with eccentric, captivating characters and unexpected nuggets of philosophy; I have loved them since I was a child. Homer’s ‘Odyssey’ is the best adventure story ever, and the satire in Thackeray’s ‘Vanity Fair’ never fails to make me laugh – every time I read it I find something to delight me anew.
  11. When sitting down to write, what is the one item you need beside you?
    Although she considers herself to be my muse and would be highly offended to be described as an ‘item’, my Burmese cat, Miss Leeloo, has been my constant writing companion since kittenhood. Very often she makes arcane contributions to my WIP, such as the following: §§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§§1§§§§§§§§11115===
  12. And finally do you have any projects to releases on the horizon that you would like to share with the readers of the website?
    The upcoming film version of ‘Another Heartbeat in the House’, which in my dreams stars Emma Stone, Carey Mulligan, Aidan Turner, Charlie Hunnam and Meryl Streep. I will gladly accept a small role as second weather-beaten peasant woman.

Follow Kate Beaufoy on Twitter Kate Beaufoy for updates or check out her website at Kate Beaufoy

Carole Matthew’s Reveals New Book – The Chocolate Lovers’ Wedding

The Chocolate Lovers’WeddingWe have only finished Carole’s latest instalment of the Chocolate Lovers series, and already Carole has treated us to a brand new book. We’ve had ‘The Chocolate Lovers Christmas’ and now get your hats and confetti ready, because the fourth book in the series is called ‘The Chocolate Lovers’ Wedding’.

The story of ‘The Chocolate Lovers’ Wedding’ is –

The ladies of The Chocolate Lovers’ Club should be gearing up for the wedding of the year but life keeps getting in the way . . .

Lucy is worried about her financial situation and it keeps distracting her. Should she accept an offer of help from an untrustworthy source?

Nadia may have a real chance at finding love but other areas of her life aren’t so rosy. Something needs to change – but what?

Autumn can’t wait to meet someone she hasn’t seen in a very long time. She’s full of hope for the future but then things don’t exactly go to plan . . .

Chantal has been through so much and she’s finally starting to feel settled. The last thing she needs is the kind of bad news that could change her life all over again.

And yet, despite all the ups and downs, the Chocolate Lovers’ ladies know they can get through it all as long as they have each other. They’re not going to let anything get in the way of their happy-ever-afters in . . . The Chocolate Lovers’ Wedding.

Sounds like another delicous book to look forward to in 2016.

You can pre-order The Chocolate Lovers’ Wedding (Chocolate Lovers Club 4)from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 7th January 2015.

My Top Five Christmas Films By Debbie Johnson

Debbie JohnsonAnother tour that I’m delighted to be starting is, Debbie Johnson’s brand new Christmas book, ‘Never Kiss A Man In A Christmas Jumper’ and on the first day of the tour, Debbie talks about her top five Christmas films.

You can’t beat a good Christmas movie. There’s nothing quite like settling down on the sofa with a plate of mince pies, a glass of Baileys, and some fine cinematic company!

In my new book – ‘Never Kiss A Man In A Christmas Jumper’ – my hero and heroine Maggie and Marco spends lots of cosy nights in with each other. They don’t have much choice, as Marco has a badly broken leg and struggles to get out of bed – so he’s a captive audience. As a result, they spend hours and hours talking, playing on the X Box, and watching TV over a pizza and a beer – perfect!

I don’t go into detail about exactly what they watch, but I did have fun imagining it. As the book is set in Oxford, I could picture them both going on an Inspector Morse binge, and Marco being amazed at the high murder rate in such a quaint English city! I toyed with the idea of creating a scene where they go on a Christmas movie watching marathon together; and having my big, brawny hero shed a tear or two! In the end, I concentrated on their own story – which has plenty of big screen moments of its own.

Thinking about my own favourite Christmas movies for this piece, I realised I have very bad taste – while many of my friends swoon to It’s A Wonderful Life every year, I’m much more likely to be chuckling away at something involving farting sounds and swearing! What can I say? I’m just made that way!

Here’s my top 5 festive movies – I hope you enjoy them!

1. Bad Santa
It’s rude, it’s crude, and it’s right at the top of my list! Billy Bob Thornton – who I adore – plays a hard-drinking, foul-mouthed thief who uses Christmas as a way to rip off shopping malls. His Bad Santa, accompanied by his dwarf friend, are two of the most vulgar Christmas creations ever – and I can’t help loving them! But beneath the swearing and the gross-out laughs, there’s actually, under several layers of cringe, a lovely story about redemption and love. Not one to watch with the kids – unless your kids are grown up, or you want them to get into trouble at school!

2. Elf
You know, I’ve seen this film approximately seven hundred times – but I still laugh and laugh and laugh every time it’s on! In fact, even thinking about Will Ferrell in those tights as Buddy, I’m laughing. Favourite scenes: when he whizzes round and round in the revolving doors, then throws up in a rubbish bin; getting attacked by Peter Dinklage’s ‘angry elf’, and – best of all – that amazing burping scene around the dining table! Again, though, it’s not just about the laughs – it’s actually an adorable tale about family and belonging.

Never Kiss A Man In A Christmas Jumper

3. Bridget Jones’s Diary
How can you not love Bridget? She’s so silly, self-obsessed, and constantly making horrendous cock-ups – just like a lot of us at her age! But she’s also looking for love amid the cigarette-counting and singing into wine bottles and boozy nights out, which so many women can identify with. Plus, that scene where Mark Darcy turns round and reveals that he is wearing a reindeer Christmas jumper inspired the title for my book – it’s even referred to in the story! There are so many funny, and touching, moments – anything to do with a turkey curry buffet, Bridget running through the blizzard in her animal print knickers, and that final, wonderfully wintery kiss among the snowflakes, where he wraps her up in his coat – aaah!

4. Nativity/Nativity 2
I love these films, even if they are silly to the max! There’s something brilliant about watching all these talentless kids transform their comedy turns into something more than that, and even though you know exactly how everything is going to turn out, it’s such a fun ride – one of the main themes is overcoming cynicism, which I think is a great Christmas message! There are also some brilliant character acting moments, in the greatest tradition of the British comedy: Jason Watkins as Gordon Shakespeare; Marc Wootton as Mr Poppy; Pam Ferris as Mrs Bevan – excellent stuff that works for both adults and children.

5. Home Alone
This was a tough one – it was a scrap between ‘Home Alone’, ‘National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation’, and ‘Love Actually’! But in the end Kevin McCallister and the way he foils the two bumbling thieves at Christmas won out – it’s yet another film you can watch over and over again and still laugh at. Parts of it are actually quite dark – a little kid being forgotten by his whole family as they jet off on holiday isn’t that festive! – but the slapstick comedy, imaginative use of household supplies as booby traps, sharp script and fine acting win out every time.

You can buy Never Kiss a Man in a Christmas Jumper from Amazon and is available to buy from good bookshops. Check out Debbie’s full length novel called ‘The Birthday’ which is out at the end of January.

Literary Lunchtimes- Louise O’Neill

Louise O'NeillAward winning Bord Gais author, Louise O’Neill is coming to Belfast for a one off event to talk about her books, ‘Only Ever Yours’ and the most recent story ‘Asking For It’.

The freelance journalist from West Cork won the Sunday Independent Newcomer of the Year award for her début 2014 novel, ;Only Ever Yours;. Her new novel, ‘Asking For It’, is a harrowing exploration of rape culture and victim blaming.

The event was originally planned for Wednesday 25th November but has now been moved to Wednesday 2nd December due to popular demand and will take place in the Ulster Hall. Tickets purchased remain valid for this new date.

To book your ticket for the event which costs £5, click here.

The Night That Changed Everything By Laura Tait And Jimmy Rice

The Night That Changed EverythingWriting duo, Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice are back with a second book this year called ‘The Night That Changed Everything’.

The story of ‘The Night That Changed Everything’ is –

Rebecca is the only girl she knows who didn’t cry at the end of Titanic. Ben is the only man he knows who did. Rebecca’s untidy but Ben doesn’t mind picking up her pieces. Ben is laid back by Rebecca keeps him on his toes. They’re a perfect match.

Nothing can come between them. Or so they think.

When a throwaway comment reveals a secret from the past, their love story is rewritten.

Can they recover from the night that changed everything? And how do you forgive when you can’t forget?

I absolutely loved the couple’s first book, ‘The Best Thing That Never Happened To Me’ and ‘The Night That Changed Everything’ sounds just as good and with such a good cover, this book looks impossible to put down!

You can pre-orderThe Night That Changed Everything from Amazon and will be available to buy from good bookshops from 24th March 2016.