This week I’m welcoming Choc Lit author, Kirsty Ferry back to my blog to answer some more searching questions, as she launches the paperback of The Girl in the Photograph and the ebook of Watch for me by Candlelight.
How do you manage to make each book you write unique?
The characters always seem to take off and do their own thing – so I suppose the books reflect the characters’ own personalities, and turn into whatever stories they want me to tell. No two characters are the same, and none of the concepts or inspiration I start with are the same. So it follows that, hopefully, the stories are unique as well.
Have you a favourite book out of the ones you have written?
Not really, as I love them all and each one demanded to be written; but I sort of feel closest to whichever one I’m working on, if that makes sense. I did have a lot of fun writing Every Witch Way, though, as I could really go to town on the comedy aspects of it and it was a nice little break in between writing the Rossetti Mysteries and the Hartsford Mysteries, which do have a bit of a darker side to them at times.
How do you name your characters?
Interesting question. ‘With care’ is maybe the answer! It’s a lot harder to name characters than you might think. The names have to suit the person and be historically accurate – and not remind me of anyone I know. It’s often just about being sensible – it’s no good having a Chardonnay in Victorian times, for example!
I’ve used names from National Trust guidebooks (Cori in The Girl in the Painting was named after Hon. Corisande Evelyn Vere Guest who married Lord George Rodney, from Berrington Hall, in 1891), school text books (Elodie in Watch for me by Moonlight came from a French GCSE book) and all sorts of other sources. I’m like a sponge!
However, it pays not to get too hung up on a character’s name. For the last three books I’ve done, I’ve ended up changing the characters’ names for various reasons – perhaps too many people in the story had the same initial, or the names weren’t suitable for the person. Alex in Moonlight was always supposed to be Alex in my head, and I kept wanting to call him that, but even he started with a different name. In the end I went back to Alex and it suited him so much better! So it’s usually a very positive move when they change and you suddenly ‘get’ them just a little bit more.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?
I love living where I live in the north east of England, but if I could have a few holiday homes dotted around I’d have one in Brockdish, in Norfolk. I love that area, which is why my fictional village of Hartsford ended up on the border of Norfolk and Suffolk.
Who are your favourite authors/inspirations?
I’ve always been a big fan of Emily Bronte, Victoria Holt, Barbara Erskine and Susanna Kearsley. Recently I’ve discovered Sarah Rayne and Mary Balogh, and I like Philippa Gregory too.
As far as inspiration goes, I’ve always wanted to do something as marvellously Gothic as Wuthering Heights, and wrote several very bad books ‘in the style of’ Victoria Holt when I was younger. I’d like to think my writing has improved a bit since then, and am now very happy to be classed on Amazon along with the likes of Erskine and Kearsley (although someone did say my work was an insult to the genre, but let’s not dwell on that one!)
About Kirsty Ferry
Kirsty is from the North East of England and won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition in 2009 with the ghostly tale ‘Enchantment‘.
Her timeslip novel, ‘Some Veil Did Fall‘, a paranormal romance set in Whitby, was published by Choc Lit in Autumn 2014. This was followed by another Choc Lit timeslip, ‘The Girl in the Painting‘ in February 2016 and ‘The Girl in the Photograph’ in March 2017. October 2017 saw the release of ‘Watch for me by Moonlight’, ‘A Little Bit of Christmas Magic’ and ‘Every Witch Way’, again, all published by Choc Lit. Her latest release Watch for me by Candlelight is out on 3 April 2018.
The experience of signing ‘Some Veil Did Fall‘ in a quirky bookshop in the midst of Goth Weekend in Whitby, dressed as a recently undead person was one of the highlights of her writing career so far!
Kirsty’s day-job involves sharing a Georgian building with an eclectic collection of ghosts – which can sometimes prove rather interesting.
THE GIRL IN THE PHOTOGRAPH Paperback out on 6 March 2018
What if the past was trying to teach you a lesson?
Staying alone in the shadow of an abandoned manor house in Yorkshire would be madness to some, but art enthusiast Lissy de Luca can’t wait. Lissy has her reasons for seeking isolation, and she wants to study the Staithes Group – an artists’ commune active at the turn of the twentieth century.
Lissy is fascinated by the imposing Sea Scarr Hall – but the deeper she delves, the stranger things get. A lonely figure patrols the cove at night, whilst a hidden painting leads to a chilling realisation. And then there’s the photograph of the girl; so beautiful she could be a mermaid … and so familiar.
As Lissy further immerses herself, she comes to an eerie conclusion: The occupants of Sea Scarr Hall are long gone, but they have a message for her – and they’re going to make sure she gets it.
WATCH FOR ME BY CANDLELIGHT Ebook published on 3 April 2018
“The stars are aligning and it’s time again …”
Working at the Folk Museum in Hartsford village means that Kate Howard is surrounded by all sorts of unusual vintage items. Of course she has her favourites; particularly the Victorian ice skates with a name – ‘CAT’ – mysteriously painted on the sides.
But what Kate doesn’t realise is how much she has in common with Catriona Aphrodite Tredegar, the original owner of the skates, or how their lives will become strangely entwined. All Kate knows is that as soon as she bumps into farrier Theo Kent, things start getting weird: there’s the vivid, disconcerting visions and then of course the overwhelming sense that she’s met Theo before …
Thank you for joining me this week Kirsty. If readers have any questions of their own for Kirsty please put them in the comments and she will reply.
Thank you for visiting my blog – Morton S. Gray – Author. I hope you enjoyed this post. You can also find me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. My novel The Girl on the Beach published by Choc Lit is available from all ebook platforms – Amazon, Apple iBooks, Kobo, Barnes and Noble and Google Play. The Girl on the Beach will be available as a paperback from 10 April 2018 – to pre-order now click Amazon.