Appearing in the hot seat this week is contemporary romance author Katie Ginger whose latest novel, The Little Theatre on the Seafront I read and enjoyed recently.
Hi, Katie and welcome to my blog. So, the big question: where did you get the idea for your book from?
My inspiration for The Little Theatre on the Seafront came partly from the lovely little seaside town I was born in and partly the slightly larger town I moved to about five years ago. Deal is beautiful quiet town with a pier and a gorgeous seafront where a lot of actors and actresses moved to in the late sixties. Charles Hawtry of the Carry On films lived there in one of the lovely period houses in the conservation area, and I’ve even spotted the amazing Guy Henry having dinner in one of the restaurants before! Folkestone, where I moved to about five years ago, has a harbour full of small fishing boats that go out every morning and come back with the tide. Both places have quirky High Streets full of galleries, cute little cafes and fancy restaurants. Greenley-On-Sea, where my story based has elements of both because I love being by the sea.
The theatre itself is inspired by an old disused building on the seafront in Deal. From what I’ve heard it was a place where the Royal Marine’s used to play and in later years was used as a bingo hall! I think because I love theatre so much, in my mind it became a crumbling theatre that needed saving!
Once I’d decided on a theatre and some crazy amateur dramatics, I needed an MC and my brain created Lottie – a quiet, subdued woman but with a strong determined core. When Lottie’s beloved Nan dies she leaves one last request; save Greenley Theatre. And when a reluctant Lottie takes up the task along the way she discovers love and friendship but the big question for her is, can she save the theatre and still follow her heart?
Of course Lottie would need a sidekick and someone to talk to, and as a result Sid came to be. Sid is Lottie’s best friend and has been since primary school. He’s geeky and clueless when it comes to women until Selena comes along that is! The rest of the cast started springing up as the plot grew in my mind, and before I knew it I had a novel all plotted out with some eccentric actors in the Greenley Players!
The Little Theatre on the Seafront explores why community and community spirit is so important, it also touches on why every town needs arts and culture, and of course there’s got to be a bit of love and romance!
I really warmed to Sid! And how would you describe your genre? And is the book a standalone or part of a series?
The genre is contemporary romance and I’d written originally as a standalone but in my reviews people have been asking for me to think about a sequel, so I am!
Great. It’s always a good thing to listen to your readers, isn’t it?
The Book’s blurb.
When Lottie’s Gran dies she leaves one last request; save Greenley Theatre.
Faced with a decaying building, a mayor who most definitely isn’t on board with the project and a group of actors who just can’t get along, Lottie has her hands full, but with best friend Sid by her side she knows she can do it somehow.
But the arrival of Jeremy, a hotshot London developer who sweeps Lottie off her feet, complicates things. Suddenly Sid gets a new girlfriend, the Greenley Players fall apart, and that crumbling building? Well it crumbles a whole lot more. With no one to turn to, Lottie has to find the courage to save the day.
Will Lottie be able to save the theatre and also follow her heart?
So what inspires you most? Characters? Settings?
My inspiration comes from anywhere and everywhere! It can be people, places, events…anything! Sometimes though you have to just sit down and think, ‘What would I like to write about?’ and build a plot and characters from there! I don’t believe in just sitting around waiting for inspiration to strike!
Wise words indeed! And how did you writing journey start? Have you always written?
I used to love writing stories when I was little but then I got a bit older, life took over and before long I’d convinced myself I couldn’t write creatively anymore. Then in 2014, I got made redundant from my job in the Heritage industry and it gave me an amazing opportunity. I decided to use some of my redundancy money to take a creative writing course and spend a summer doing something I used to love. I was lucky and had some success getting some cosy mystery short stories published and once I’d written The Little Theatre on the Seafront I decided to try and get a traditional publishing deal. I got some rejections of course, but it’s important to take the feedback and just keep trying. I eventually got my deal with HQ DigitalUK through their Twitter pitch they did in 2017 and it was actually for a different book but when they offered me a two book deal I sent them The Little Theatre on the Seafront and was lucky that they liked it too!
What was your first published piece?
It was actually a cosy mystery short story called Murder Upstairs and was published by Zimbell House Publications in their Whodunnit anthology.
And, finally, what are your future plans?
I’m working on some new ideas now that I’ll be talking to my editor about soon and my second book with HQ DigitalUK comes out in October 2019. It’s got a lovely Christmas theme and as Christmas is my favourite time of the year I can’t wait to get it out into the world!
Thank you so much, Katie, for answering my questions so patiently and the very best of luck with your next novel.
Katie’s Social Media links
The link to buy Little Theatre of the Seafront: https://amzn.to/2QU7X8d
Daily Prompts January 16th – 31st
I hope Katie’s story has inspired you to get writing. If so, here are the latest set of writing prompts to further inspire you. (For hints on how to use these, check out my earlier post, Writers’ Prompts
16. January brings the snow, makes the feet and fingers glow.
17. Picking up a hitchhiker.
18. Simple pleasures are the best.
19. In a silent moment.
20. Write about what you see from your nearest window.
21. Refusing an invitation.
22. Being misunderstood.
23. A remembered smell (good or bad!)
24. The longest mile is the last mile home.
25. A new pair of shoes.
26. Is there anybody there said the traveller/knocking on the moonlit door. (Walter de la Mare)
27. Once when I thought no one was watching.
28. The anniversary.
29. A good listener.
30, Sitting in front of a fire.
31. A childhood injustice remembered.