I am joined this week by Kathryn Freeman, who writes for Choc Lit too.
A former pharmacist, Kathryn is now a medical writer who also writes romance. Some days a racing heart is a medical condition, others it’s the reaction to a hunky hero.
With two teenage boys and a husband who asks every Valentine’s Day whether he has to buy a card (yes, he does, says Kathryn), any romance is all in her head. Then again, she says, her husband’s unstinting support of her career change proves love isn’t always about hearts and flowers – and heroes come in many disguises.
I asked Kathryn some questions:-
When and where do you write?
Where is the easy part – in my pink study, with cardboard Jenson Button looking down on me, providing all the inspiration I need. The study is at the top of the house, in the converted loft, so I also have a good view of trees from my window. I painted the walls pink one day when my husband and two sons were out. Since then nobody else appears to want to use it…
I write every week day and sometimes, if my family are playing cricket, I sneak in a few hours at the weekend. I’m not always writing romance though. I juggle my fiction writing with medical writing. Some days a heart is a powerful symbol of love. Other days it’s simply an organ in the cardiovascular system.
I loved your book Before You as I’m an Formula One racing fan. How did you go about your research to make this book feel so realistic?
Firstly – thank you. I’ve enjoyed F1 for a few years now, though I have to confess my knowledge was previously limited to how dishy the drivers were. One in particular (I refer you to my writing inspiration in the answer above!).
I’ve been lucky enough to go to Spa and Silverstone so I had first-hand knowledge of watching a race, which certainly helped with the atmosphere. Most of the facts I gained from the internet and from the excellent book: Formula One Racing for Dummies. It meant for once my male dominated family was interested in what I was writing. I also found a book in a charity shop showing pictures of the paddocks and motorhomes – things you often don’t get to see up close on the television.
To help with my heroine’s role – Melanie Hunt is the team press officer – I read a book recommended by McClaren (Super Ego by Julia Wurz, who used to run the Press Office for the Benetton F1 Team).
Finally, I made my F1 loving husband read the book.
How do you decide your characters’ names?
First I decide their character and then I start to search for a name. I find it one of the hardest parts of writing a story. I often turn to my family for ideas, though it’s not always a good source. For the racing driver hero of Before You I had the unhelpful suggestions of Justin Pits and Justin Front…!
When the family fail me, I turn to the internet and google names, though it’s crazy how hard it is to fit a name to the image I have in my head. I don’t always get it right. Aiden Foster in Before You actually started out as Arun Foster but my editor didn’t like it – and I’m glad. He’s makes a much better Aiden.
What can we look forward to next from you?
I’m currently editing a book that will hopefully come out in August – around the same time as Before You goes into paperback. The book I’m editing is provisionally called Too Nice? (I’m as bad at deciding on titles as I am on names, so it will probably change).
It features Nick Templeton, a quiet, reserved accountant who can’t remember a time when he hasn’t been in love with his best friend’s younger sister. Not that he’s ever told her. Just as she turned old enough for him to admit his feelings, she flew off to New York to begin a modelling career. Now a stunning supermodel, Lizzie Donavue seems to have it all. A glittering career, a glamorous lifestyle in LA and a parade of handsome boyfriends. But then it all goes horribly wrong. I liked the idea of a reserved accountant and a supermodel. I hope others will, too.
Thank you for visiting my blog, Kathryn. I’ll look forward to your new book.
About Before You
When life in the fast lane threatens to implode …
Melanie Hunt’s job working for the Delta racing team means she is constantly rubbing shoulders with Formula One superstars in glamorous locations like Monte Carlo. But she has already learned that keeping a professional distance is crucial if she doesn’t want to get hurt.
New Delta team driver Aiden Foster lives his life like he drives his cars – fast and hard. But, no matter how successful he is, it seems he always falls short of his championship-winning father’s legacy. If he could just stay focused, he could finally make that win.
Resolve begins to slip as Melanie and Aiden find themselves drawn to each other –with nowhere to hide as racing season begins. But when a troubled young boy goes missing, everything is thrown into turmoil, including Aiden’s championship dream.
As I’ve read Before You, I thought I’d add my own review of the book below:-
As a Formula 1 racing fan and a reader of romance, I loved this combination of the two, although you really don’t have to have to follow F1 to enjoy this lovely story. The yearly racing calendar gives the book a pleasing structure.
I have often wondered about how successful racing drivers are sure that their close relationships are genuine and not just women hoping for fame and a rich lifestyle and this book explores that question. Mel, the heroine, has believable angsts about her image and ability to maintain a relationship. Aiden, the hero racing driver, has to deal with racing in the shadow of his successful champion racing driver father and growing up with a mother who followed her father around, leaving him behind much of the time.
I loved the way the author wove some of the incidents I have watched in the F1 races over the years into the story, they made me smile. The love story has as many twists and turns as the race tracks against which the novel is set.
To get in touch with Kathryn or to buy the book please use the links below.
UK Amazon link Before You:
US Amazon link Before You: