It is always great fun to have a character from a book interview the author, and today Kate Frost, who wrote Beneath the Apple Blossom, is chatting with Sienna, one of the characters in the story. I was delighted to read the book and post a review last Sunday.
Kate lives in the UK, so the spelling and formatting is the British style. (Just so you know I didn’t forget to edit the post. 🙂 )
Since Sienna was hoping for a latte and cake, I found some that she can share with Kate and with us all. Enjoy…
We meet on a windswept beach on the Pembrokeshire coast in Wales, UK. It’s not the obvious choice – Kate could have chosen my favourite café in Bath where we could have had a civilised conversation over latte and cake, but I do like the desolate wildness of this beach and know it well, having chosen it as a location for a film I worked on – but I guess Kate knows that already. I’m sitting in the sand dunes, sheltered from the wind by long grasses when I see her walking towards me – her long dark hair being whipped by the wind, wearing brown boots and jeans, wrapped in a waterproof with a blue and white patterned bag slung across her body. She reaches me, smiles, pushes her black-rimmed glasses up where they’ve slipped down her nose, and sits next to me.
‘Sorry I’m late. Leo was having a tantrum.’
‘See, that’s exactly why I don’t want to have kids – they’re loud, drive you mad and make you late for everything.’
‘Well, you would think that, wouldn’t you?’ Kate says, laughing. ‘So go for it, what do you want to ask me?’
I tuck my hair behind my ears and then rest back on my hands. ‘Is your son the inspiration for Beneath the Apple Blossom?’
‘Sort of. At least the fertility treatment I underwent to have Leo in the first place was where the idea for the book came from. The fact that so many women struggle to have a baby and it can be such a heart breaking and lonely experience.’
‘How did I get in the book then, seeing as though the last thing I want is to settle down and have a baby.’
‘I thought it was an interesting idea to explore the two sides: those women who long for a baby and can’t have one, alongside those women who are desperate to not get pregnant but seemingly do so with ease.’
I gaze out at the churning blue-grey sea and sigh. ‘I guess having a family – or not – ends up being at the forefront of most women’s thoughts once they reach their thirties. But career can be a major concern too.’
Kate nods. ‘I totally agree, particularly when having a family can impact your career, like it does with you.’
‘How come you gave me a job as a film location manager?’
Kate sits forward and crosses her legs. She snags a frond from one of the tall grasses surrounding us and begins to pick at it. ‘I wanted you to have a seemingly glamourous job, one that could potentially take you away from home for weeks or even months at a time. I’ve worked as a Supporting Artist in TV and on the films Vanity Fair, King Arthur and The Duchess, so I’ve spent time on film sets and have an idea about how things work. It felt like a good choice. Working in film impresses people, particularly those who have no idea of the long and often boring days that is the reality of a shoot. It’s a job that involves travel and unsocial hours, so it was perfect for you really. Plus, admit it. You love it.’
I smile. ‘That’s true.’
Kate reaches into her pocket and pulls out her buzzing cell phone. She listens a moment, then closes the phone. ‘My Mum. I’m sorry, I’d better get back and take Leo off her hands.’
‘No problem,’ I say with a wave as Kate paces back across the sand. I tilt my head up to where the sun strains through thick white clouds, relieved that I’ve no responsibilities to drag me away. Kate really is welcome to toddler tantrums and lack of sleep.
Beneath the Apple Blossom – BLURB – Four women, linked by blood ties, friendship, betrayal, loss and hope, struggle with the choices they’ve made and the hand that life’s dealt them.
All Pippa’s ever wanted is marriage and kids, but at thirty-four and about to embark on IVF, her dream of having a family is far from certain. Her younger sister Georgie has the opposite problem, juggling her career, her lover, a young daughter and a husband who wants baby number two.
Pippa’s best friend Sienna has a successful career in the film world, and despite her boyfriend pressurising her to settle down, a baby is the last thing she wants. Happily married Connie shares the trauma of fertility treatment with Pippa, but underestimates the impact being unable to conceive will have on her and her marriage.
As their lives collide in a way they could never have predicted, will any of them get to see their hopes realised?
Kate Frost lives in Bristol with her husband, an energetic toddler who loves waking up before 5am, and their cute and chilled out Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. When she’s not yelling ‘slow down’ to said toddler, or being used as a climbing frame, Kate writes women’s and children’s fiction. Her debut novel, The Butterfly Storm, was published in 2013, her second contemporary women’s fiction novel, Beneath the Apple Blossom, has just been released, and her first children’s book, Time Shifters: Into the Past, an exciting time travel adventure, the first of a trilogy, will be published in October 2016.
The rest of Kate’s blog tour: