I can’t believe that fellow Choc Lit author, Kirsty Ferry has been on my blog several times, but I haven’t yet asked her to take part in my “Five Things You Would Never Guess” feature. Her latest novel, Jessie’s Little Bookshop by the Sea was published on 10 September 2019. Over to Kirsty for her five things …
I have a City and Guilds qualification in Cake Decorating. My overwhelming memory of that course is that I chose to decorate a cake with a Peter Rabbit sugarpaste plaque whilst kneeling on the floor at home. The phone rang, I jumped up – and there was an enormous crack. I’d broken a bone in my foot and ended up on crutches!
When I went back to work (I no longer work there, I hasten to add), they told me to cover a department on the fourth floor: ‘but good luck with the eight flights of stairs, because the lifts are broken’. I do think my supervisor hated me for some reason!
I failed my Art ‘O’ level. I was too lazy to go in an prepare the watercolour paper on my lunchbreak, so used coloured pencils instead. I think I knew I’d failed when I went back to the classroom to see my teacher holding up an absolutely appalling drawing and shaking her head defeatedly; and it was my drawing.
My teacher and I had a weird relationship. She used to pick on me the whole time which is the best way to get my back up. As an adult, I’ve come to realise that she picked on me because I could have done so much better and she knew that. If only she’d approached it differently. The art thing is a big regret of mine, and I’d love to resit the course and pass at some point!
You might know this if you’ve read the acknowledgements in A Secret Rose, but it is a story I started writing over twenty years ago. I stapled it together and made a pretendy book out of it. I kept trying to revisit it and kept failing to get into it. It wasn’t even very long, being only about 10 or 15k words, but eventually it’s become a ‘proper’ book and I’m so proud of it…and myself!
Jessie’s Little Bookshop by the Sea, by contrast, only took a month or so to write as I was so into the characters from doing the other Tempest Sisters books. It was much, much easier, which is possibly something to do with it being contemporary and not dual timeline, so I didn’t have to worry too much about doing thorough historical research. I’m not sure, really. But I loved writing it, regardless!
My old house was haunted. I know there was an old lady there, but I never saw her. I often sensed her coming into my bedroom and she was heralded by a proper chill, even on the warmest of nights. I’d bury my head under the covers until she’d gone. It was all fine, and we co-existed quite happily until the day she decided to stomp up my staircase very loudly and not just enter gracefully and quietly. I must confess, I did tell her to be quiet and that I didn’t appreciate the noise as my toddler was sleeping. She never stomped again, but went back to being nice and quiet – which suited me quite well.
I have a ridiculously large collection of empty notebooks. I am completely obsessed and even if I hand wrote every novel and story I produce, I’d never ever fill them. I have at least sixty on the shelves, plus probably the same amount again in boxes in the garage, in the desk in the summerhouse and scattered around the house in various rooms. They’re even creeping into my locker at day job work, but at least I do use those ones. (But you know, the covers are sooooooo very very pretty…)
Fascinating, Kirsty thank you.
About Kirsty Ferry
Kirsty Ferry is from the North East of England and lives there with her husband and son. She won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition in 2009 and has had articles and short stories published in various magazines. Her work also appears in several anthologies, incorporating such diverse themes as vampires, crime, angels and more.
Kirsty loves writing ghostly mysteries and interweaving fact and fiction. The research is almost as much fun as writing the book itself, and if she can add a wonderful setting and a dollop of history, that’s even better.
Her day job involves sharing a building with an eclectic collection of ghosts, which can often prove rather interesting.
For more information on Kirsty visit:
Take a trip to the little bookshop by the sea …
Jessie Tempest has two main interests: reading books and selling books. Her little bookshop in the seaside town of Staithes is a cosy hideaway from the chilly Yorkshire wind, but it’s also Jessie’s sanctuary from the outside world.
When writer Miles Fareham and his son Elijah arrive to stay in the holiday apartment above the shop, it’s a test for Jessie who has always felt clueless when it comes to kids. But as she learns the story of the single father and the inquisitive eight-year-old, Jessie realises that first impressions aren’t always the right ones – and, of course, you can never judge a book by its cover!