Imagine That

My Fantasy Interview – the questions I wish I were asked
by Kate Forster


What is a lie do you tell on a regular basis, in regards to your work?
‘It’s going really well,’ usually told to editors, while I’m emailing my agent, begging her to get me more time.

What is the worst review you ever got?
Something to do with, ‘this is the worst book I have ever read. I think a monkey could have written better.’

How do you react to a bad review of one of your books?
The first time I got a bad review, I cried, it felt as though I had been publically stoned. Now, I say something offensive back to them in my mind, although I try to stay away from all reviews, unless I am feeling needy.

What do you know now that you didn’t know before you were published?
• That it’s a slog to get the story out of your head, and onto the page.
• That the characters aren’t just real to you, but also to the readers.
• That it’s a huge amount of work for little reward, and that once you find yourself in this world, the only way out is death. Once you start writing, you will find you can’t stop. Sentences write in your head. Dialogue is heard on street corners. Ideas are everywhere, dammit.

What is the imagination?
A parallel universe where you live another life, then come back to this one, write it all down and call it a novel.

What are you afraid of?
Death, thus not being able to write all the tales from the other worlds I have been to in my imagination.


Who influences you as a writer and as a person?
People around me. People in the media. Stories I hear and read. Feelings are the most important; lust, love, hate, fear, sorrow. To write about them, you have to know these feelings and the residue they leave behind.

What helps your work?
• My editors. They are schoolteachers and counsellors in one form. I swing between loving and hating them, depending on the state of the manuscript.
• Music. I listen to music when I’m writing. I create playlists for my books, like a soundtrack of sorts.

What hinders your work?
Me. I can procrastinate too much. I am easily distracted and I can stay too long in the parallel universe. I am also appalling at checking my own work, because I want to go back to the parallel world where there are no typos.

How often do you hate your own work?
In the middle of the writing a novel, I will decide that it’s terrible, that a monkey could write better. After four books, I am beginning to see this is regular occurrence and I know now to plough through to the end and see what happens.

What do you worry about?
Nothing. Before I was a writer, I used to worry all the time. Now I realise what a useless waste of energy it is, and instead I throw myself into a new idea. I figure out that things work out they are meant to. I can’t control anything about my writing other than trying to get better with each book and learn as much as I can.

What is your guilty pleasure?
Television and films. I watch so much television, it’s embarrassing. I know I could do other things but honestly, I can’t be bothered. I love to be entertained and I am partial to cosy crime, although I have no desire to write the genre.

Kate Forster lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, two children and two dogs, and can be found nursing a laptop, surrounded by magazines and watching trash TV or French films. Kate is the author of The Perfect Location, which has been published in Australia, the UK and Norway. Her latest novels, Seduction (Penguin, Australia) and The Perfect Retreat (HarperCollins/Avon, UK) are out now. She has also written four YA romance books for the Smitten series: Unlucky Break, Head over High Heels, Beauty and the Beat, and Piece of Cake published by Hardie Grant Egmont.

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