This week my blog guest is Kate Ryder. Her latest novel Into a Cornish Wind was published on 28 September 2022 by Embla Books. I was fortunate to read an advance copy of the novel, so I will include my review below. Kate is going to tell readers about her inspiration for the book …
Thank you, Morton, for inviting me on to your blog today, following publication of my latest book, Into a Cornish Wind.
Ever since childhood I’ve had a love affair with Cornwall but I had to wait until well into adulthood before swapping the South East of England for this wonderfully diverse county. I find the Cornish landscape evocative and inspiring, and I like to work my way around the county for the locations of my novels. Shortly after publication of Beneath Cornish Skies, which is set around Morwenstow on the north Cornish coast, Australian readers propelled it to the #1 eBook on the whole Amazon Australia kindle store, where it stayed for several weeks! I was also delighted when it was shortlisted for the RNA 2022 Fantasy Romantic Novel award.
All my books have a strong otherworldly/supernatural theme and they are set in real places (no made-up Cornish names for me!). It’s important that I research as thoroughly as possible so that not only facts stand up when under close scrutiny, but also descriptions of the various settings are a true account.
I wrote Into a Cornish Wind during several periods of lockdown and I was restricted to visiting the beautiful south Cornish coastline via google. The heroine, Kat Maddox, is an illustrator with a London publishing company but she’s offered the opportunity to take a sabbatical for a few months in Fowey. What fun it was researching properties for her to stay in, but it was hard not getting carried away with the idea of moving there myself (although the property prices put me off somewhat!). I discovered a house on the waterfront that was the perfect base for Kat, and a charming tapas bar immediately opposite provided the setting for a few chapters.
Kat is commissioned to illustrate a non-fictional book about the West Country’s landed gentry through the ages, which requires her to visit several country mansions and ruined castles in the area. Unbeknownst to the historian author, it’s a dream assignment for Kat as she has a ‘gift’ that enables her to sense the history of any subject once her drawing pens touch paper.
When I first started to flesh out the hero, Mac, I only had a vague idea of his backstory, but it took me by surprise when he demanded to be a yachtsman – although, in hindsight, how could he not, with the story centring on the delightful sailing town? However, this caused a problem… I have limited yachting experience! I studied numerous YouTube sailing videos and reacquainted myself with someone who’d sent me a friend request on Facebook a few years before, who just so happened to be a keen sailor… true serendipity at play! With his assistance and the observations of a couple of beta readers experienced in all things nautical, I wrote the boating chapters.
The counties of Cornwall and Devon have many properties steeped in history and it was tricky deciding which ones to include, although there was no hesitation about the one that captures Mac’s imagination. I confess that I have insider knowledge of this property, as during the 1980s my sister and her family owned it. The fine Grade II listed country house – reputedly the site of the tryst of the doomed Tristan and Isuelt – has deeds and leases going back to the mid-14th century. Tragically, it caught fire in 2019 and much of its history went up in flames.
Here’s a photo of me, back in the day, riding my Arab along its driveway whilst being careful to keep my horse’s hooves off the immaculately mown lawn!
About Kate Ryder
Kate Ryder is an international bestselling author of romantic suspense and timeslip/magic realism. Represented by the Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency, she is published by Embla Books and Aria Fiction, and is also a member of the RNA.
Originally from the South East of England, today Kate lives on the jam-first Cornish side of the beautiful Tamar Valley with her husband and a rehomed half-Bengal cat. When not writing she gravitates towards the coast, theatre, music and art, although the latter always makes her yearn to pick up a paintbrush. But, as there are only so many hours in the day, instead she paints pictures with words!
Her books include:
BENEATH CORNISH SKIES – a beautiful romance with a shimmer of ghostliness – achieved #1 eBook in the Amazon Australia Kindle Store, peaked at #83 in the Amazon UK Kindle Store and was shortlisted for the RNA Romantic Novel Awards 2022.
SECRETS OF THE MIST – a mysterious timeslip romance – not only reached #49 in Amazon UK Kindle Store but also #1 bestseller in various categories in the UK, Canada and Australia.
SUMMER IN A CORNISH COVE – a contemporary romantic suspense set on the beautiful and wildly rugged Lizard Peninsula – was nominated for the RNA’s 2018 Joan Hessayon award. Readers begged for a sequel and Kate duly obliged with (standalone) COTTAGE ON A CORNISH CLIFF.
INTO A CORNISH WIND is a romance with a twist of otherworldliness.
Keep in touch with Kate:
About Into a Cornish Wind
Kat Maddox has had her fair share of terrible relationships. And after discovering that her latest boyfriend has been hiding an entire other life from her, it’s time for a fresh start.
Accepting a job on the Cornish coast, Kat begins a new chapter in Fowey. She is immediately drawn to the beautiful Cornish landscapes and swiftly an old feeling begins to emerge. Ever since she was young, Kat’s had a ‘gift’ – when her paintbrush touches canvas, she’s able to see the history of her subject as if by magic.
Consumed with trying to discover what this could mean, she crosses paths with local sailor, Mac. Though this isn’t the first, or the last time, they’re destined to meet. As Mac and Kat grow closer, she begins to wonder whether she should open her heart to love one more time…
Available in eBook, audiobook and paperback: https://amzn.to/3nCCE4T
Thank you, Kate. I loved Into a Cornish Wind and have put my review below:-
5 Star: A gentle, slow-burn romance which I was reading at a very hectic time of my life, so it helped to soothe my senses. A hero, Mac, with a painful past, a heroine, Kat, who doubts love and men, interwoven with an otherworldly insight and a strong sense of place. I do not always like present tense written books, but with Kate Ryder this enables the chapters to be absorbed effortlessly. I am now left with a desire for a sequel and the need for a holiday in Cornwall.