In The LoungeIn The Kitchen

‘I write in frenzied bursts’
A Q&A with Kate Harrison

Lovely author and 5:2 guru, Kate Harrison dropped into One Book Lane for a catch-up.

You can get Kate’s lovely foodie romance A Batch Made in Heaven on your ereader for less than the price of an iced bun for a limited time.

Who is your favourite author?

So many to choose from that I cannot possibly pick one: but I always love Roald Dahl, Noel Streatfeild and Susan Cooper, writers whose children’s books got me hooked on reading and made me want to be a writer too.

What book do you most often recommend to friends?

For the last couple of years, The Husband’s Secret – I was blown away by that when I read it, such smart, drily witty and gripping fiction. I adored Rowan Coleman’s The Memory Book, and I’m currently recommending The Girl on the Train which I’m midway through and utterly addicted to!

Do you have any writing rituals?

Well, black coffee from my Nespresso machine plays a big part (if only George Clooney could be there to serve it, life would be perfect). I also use a little kitchen timer to help me write in frenzied bursts as otherwise I get too distracted by Facebook, emails, Twitter, the washing…

If you weren’t a writer what job would you liked to have gone into?

Well, before I was a writer, I worked in TV coming up with new ideas, which was terrific fun and involved a lot of brainstorming on beanbags.

What is the best thing about being a writer?

The excitement of the first germ of a story, and all the possibilities when you’re creating and navigating a brand new world, with characters who begin to come to life. It’s a privilege to invent them and then make sure they get the ending they deserve (which doesn’t often happen in real life).

What one item could you not live without?

See item 3 – my coffee maker. It’s quite an expensive habit but I am fuelled by caffeine…

Tell us something that will shock your readers?

Even though I love to cook now – my passion for baking helped to inspire A Batch Made in Heaven – I was the most terrible cook in school home economics classes. I once set fire to sausages when we had to make a full English. And even though I’m a vegetarian now and a real foodie, when I was a child, I was the pickiest of eaters and would only eat two kinds of veggies: potatoes and sweetcorn. My poor parents!

What makes you happy?

Our border terrier puppy, Vesper (named after the James Bond heroine and the Vesper martini cocktail): she’s a daily burst of pure enthusiasm for life. Walking her on the beach at Brighton where I live is truly wonderful.

Vesper, Kate’s border terrier puppy.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Never judge a book by its cover… !

The members of my dream book club would be . . .

George Clooney (for the conversation, obviously); Roald Dahl for the stories; Victoria Wood for the witty observations; Nigella Lawson for the refreshments.

Kate Harrison’s A Batch Made in Heaven is out now in eBook. 

Kate Harrison

Before becoming a novelist, Kate Harrison worked for a news agency, reporting mainly for the national tabloids. She then moved to the BBC where she was a reporter in regional news in Bristol and Birmingham, producer on NEWSROUND, and worked on PANORAMA and other investigative/consumer shows and documentaries.

Kate is the author of eight novels, including the SECRET SHOPPER series. In 2011 she published the first of her young adult trilogy, SOUL BEACH  and in 2013 she published the first of the highly successful 5:2 DIET books. Kate has written for national newspapers and magazines including the TELEGRAPH, MAIL ON SUNDAY, RED and COSMOPOLITAN.