A short while ago we at For Reading Addicts were approached to see if we would like to do an interview with Katie Fforde; of course we leaped at the opportunity but, being such wonderful people we decided not to keep this amazing offer to ourselves and offered our followers on social media the chance to ask Katie whatever they wanted.

We selected the most popular questions and Katie answered them all for us; I imagine it was probably one of the more interesting interviews she has done so far in her literary career.

Katie Fforde started writing when her mother gave her a writing kit for Christmas.  She thinks she was fed up with her saying she wanted to write but not doing it.  As Katie had three small children at the time, she thought this was a tiny bit unfair!  But it seemed to do the trick and she started writing and loved it.  It was eight years before she had a publisher and ten before a book appeared on a shelf.

Katie has now been a published writer for over 20 years and has written over 20 bestselling novels and has sold over 3 million books.

She has lived in the same house in Gloucestershire for over thirty five years and loves that her grandchildren are close by.


Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I didn’t think I could be a writer because I am quite dyslexic and besides, my sister was the writer in the family!

Do you base your characters on real people?

I do use characteristics from real people and sometimes my people are fairly fully formed! I put my sister in A Perfect Match – she forgave me because in the book, she ended up with a really nice house.

At what point did you realise this book writing thing was your job?

I had a slight advantage in that I didn’t have a career as such before I was a writer. I’d been a secretary, a cook, and my husband and I had run a business on the canals, turning a pair of narrow boats into a moving hotel, so once I started writing I just knew. This was what I should be doing.

Where does your inspiration tend to come from?

Inspiration comes from everywhere. It’s like oxygen, you can’t see it but you know it’s there if you look and listen. I’ve based books on snatches of overheard conversation, small ads in the back of magazines, lots of television programmes, and things like my daughter getting engaged. I reckoned I’d be living weddings for a couple of years, I might as well get a book out of it!

Have any of your stories taken a turn you didn’t plan or expect as you were writing?

I don’t plan hugely when I start a book. I have a vague idea where I want it to end up but I’m not too determined to stick to it. However, sometimes I’ve had to work quite hard to make my characters do the right thing for my story.

What is your choice of tipple or snack as you write?

I wish I could swig wine and write but I can’t type if I’ve had even a small amount of alcohol, so it’s tea for me.

How much of yourself do you put into your characters?

Quite a lot! But I always make myself much better than I am! I’m much younger and thinner (of course!) but also braver and more talented. What’s good now I’m older, is being able to put all my irritations about bad grammar etc into the mouths of my grumpy older women. It’s very satisfying!

Where’s your favourite place to write?

I have my study at home which I love but really, I work best away from home, and away from the many distractions that are there. A view is always nice to have.

Do you listen to music whilst writing?

I’ve tried – I love the idea of being swept along by a romantic piece of music as I write a love scene but I find it too distracting. Shame!

How do you feel about page one? Is it dread or excitement?

Definitely both. I’m always certain that the next book I’m going to write is going to be so easy and wonderful. (It never is!) So that’s the hope. The dread is that I know it all starts to go horribly wrong just after I’ve written ‘Chapter One’

And how do you feel when you’ve finished?

Relief that it’s done and sad that’s over. It’s like leaving school, you feel it’s time you were gone but you know you’re going to miss your friends.

Can you remember the first book you read that made you think “I can do this, I need to do this”?

I can’t remember the specific book but it would have been a Mills and Boon novel. I was addicted to them when I had small babies and needed something straightforward and easy to read. When I was slightly less tired I realized I liked some a lot more than others. I thought, ‘may be I could do this.’ It was a couple of years after that before I tried.


Who was the first person you showed your writing to? What was their response?

My first attempts were read and criticised by my mother and sister. My sister is a very fierce critic, so if it got past her, I felt very happy.

Do you have a favourite character you’ve written? Why them?

 I think my favourite character (although it seems wrong to have favourites) has to be Polly, the heroine of my very first novel. She was a much lovelier version of me. She had my job at the time (working in a whole food café) went to my keep fit class, my jumble sales, and she had my cat.

Do you take criticism to heart when it’s from a reader? Is a reader’s critique more important than a professional’s?

I take all criticism to heart! I avoid reading reviews because I know I’ll agree with the bad ones.

Do you have much interaction with your readers?

I love meeting my readers in real life but I also love tweeting and chatting online. I feel they are already my friends.

What is the essential ingredient you put into all your books?

Warmth and humour. I think if I thought my books were lacking in these things I’d give up.

What’s been a memorable moment in your career as a writer?

There’ve been a few! I think the most memorable was being told my first book had been chosen for a huge promotion. It really gave my career a fabulous start. I’ve been so lucky.

Is there a book out there that you wish you had written?

Too many to mention! But we can only write the books we can write. Although that doesn’t mean I don’t always try to be better.

I am sure you will agree with me when I say how grateful we are that Katie took the time out of her busy schedule to answer the pressing questions that you, our followers need to know.

If you want to follow Katie on Twitter – @KatieFforde
On Facebook – Katie Fforde

Katie’s novel Summer of Love is being released by Bookouture on Kindle on July the 8th

A gorgeously romantic summer read about fresh starts, friendships and falling deeply in love.
Sian Bishop has left the hustle and bustle of the city to throw herself into an idyllic new life in a charming countryside cottage.

With her young son, her picture-postcard garden and her furniture restoration business, she’s very happy and very busy. She is not – repeat not – looking for love.

But Sian’s good intentions are torpedoed one glorious summer’s evening with the arrival of Gus Berresford. One-time explorer and full-time heartbreaker, Gus is ridiculously exciting, wonderfully glamorous and a completely inappropriate love interest for a single mother.

But she and Gus have met before. And, despite Sian’s best intentions, it isn’t long before she’s falling for him all over again …

Feel the sun on your face and fall in love with this gloriously romantic tale from the No.1 bestselling Katie Fforde. Perfect for fans of Debbie Macomber and Susan Mallery.