Kate Ryder talks about her new novel, her favourite authors, and how she became a writer.
1. Can you tell us more about your latest book, Cottage on a Cornish Cliff?
Cottage on a Cornish Cliff is the sequel to Summer in a Cornish Cove, in which we are first introduced to Oliver and Cara and learn of their once in a lifetime love for each other. However, because of choices made during the first book, in Cottage on a Cornish Cliff they are dealing with acceptance, forgiveness and trying to put things right. Oliver decides to put his successful film career on hold so that his wife can puruse fulfilment in her own career. Cara’s art has taken off since winning the Threadneedle Prize, and she is carefully managed by the New York Times Art Critic, Greg Latimer-Jones, who plunges her into turmoil by offering an alternative future.
2. Where did you get the inspiration for the novel?
The first book opened the doors for the novel. When I wrote Summer in a Cornish Cove I knew Oliver and Cara’s story wasn’t over, and in my head their journey continued. It was only when several reviewers begged me to put things right that I realised I had to share their continuing story.
3. Do you see yourself in any of the characters in your novel?
Not particularly, although I guess a part of any writer is always present in the decisions and actions their characters take. I would, however, like to think I had some of Cara’s all-seeing understanding and acceptance of her place in the world!
4. Was there a particular part of the novel that was really difficult to write for you?
Not really. However, delving into Greg’s psyche and true motivation took me to some very bleak and unsavoury places.
5. Can you describe Cottage on a Cornish Cliff in 3 adjectives?
Emotional, Page-turning, Ultimately uplifting.
6. What is your favorite and least favorite thing about writing?
I love it when characters take over. The words simply flow and you haven’t a clue where the story is going. That is truly remarkable, when you create a story and have no idea how it will turn out, but the characters do!
I hate the pressure of deadlines.
7. Who are your favorite authors?
That’s a difficult one, because there are so many talented authors out there. However, I have just read Amanda Jenning’s Cliff House, which will remain with me for a long time. Not only did I enjoy the Cornish setting, but also the way she kept underlying tension going throughout the course of the book. I found it very thought-provoking.
The first book that truly struck a chord with me was A Traveller in Time by Alison Uttley. I must have been in late childhood/early teens when I first read it, and I was totally entranced by the beautiful way that this was written. The fact that the novel was based on real historical events with a tragic ending made it all the more poignant.
William Boyd’s Brazzaville Beach must not go unmentioned; it was so different to anything I had ever read at the time. Now, whenever I open a book with his name on the cover, I know I am in safe hands.
8. What message do you want readers to take away from your novels?
That despite life not always being straightforward, and most definitely not a fairytale, it is possible to make your small corner a fairer place and live with integrity.
9. When did you decide to write and what prompted you to start?
From a very early age I was either found with my nose in a book or writing! Over the years I have been employed as a proof reader, copy editor and writer, but it was only when I reached a certain milestone birthday I decided that if I was ever going to write a novel I’d better get on with it! I joined a local writers’ group with the intention of writing short stories and during a particular workshop, after reading out one of my creations, I found my fellow students demanding to know what happened next. That incident has led to this day…
10. What are you working on next?
Book 3 of my 4-book deal with Aria. A love affair set against an intriguing ghost story that takes the reader on a journey back to the dangerous days of the English Civil War. It’s a book inspired by a ‘find’ my husband and I made whilst renovating our derelict Cornish cottage.
Returning to the heart of her beloved Cornwall, Kate Ryder weaves another deliciously irresistible tale of desire, jealousy and the search for understanding, set against the stunning backdrop of the glorious Lizard Peninsula.
Globally renowned actor Oliver Foxley has made the most difficult decision of all and set the love of his life free, in order to try and bring his family back together. But there’s a magnetic pull back to both Cara and Cornwall that Oliver can neither deny nor resist…
Heartbroken for a second time in her short life, single mother Cara knows she has no choice but to pick up the pieces yet again and carry on. Perhaps a complete change of scenery would help her, and her young family? Yet her mind, spirit and heart yearn for the windswept shores of her Cornish Cove…
Cara and Oliver face the agonising choice between following expectations, or following their hearts. How will their story end…?
After pursuing a career in publishing and acting, Kate Ryder found her passion in writing. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Society of Authors. Her self-published debut novel received a Chill with a Book, “Book of the Month” Award. She currently lives with her husband in the Tamar Valley in a renovated 200-year-old Cornish sawmill. She finds the Cornish landscape a great source of inspiration. When she is not writing she enjoys reading, art, theatre and travel.