Shaz Stars interviews author Kathryn Brown

In the hot seat today I would like to welcome:
Hello, thank you for letting us have a peek behind thescenes.  Your sun sign is SAGITTARIUS.

  • Travelling and exploration is something that those born with their sun in Sagittarius enjoy.  This is because their minds are constantly open to new dimensions of thought.  When you are writing, you are able to travel and explore through your mind.  Is this something that you would say is a trait you employ when writing?
I prefer to travel in the UK because I don’t like flying or sailing. I do explore places in my mind however, and they’re mostly those somewhat familiar to me like Scotland and the Scottish Borders.The novel I published this year, Discovery at Rosehill, was based in the Borders and I used a beautiful manor house as the house in which my main character lives. The “real” house is en-route to a delightful town called Kelso and I knew from the moment I saw it, I wanted that to be Rosehill.

  • Sagittarians have a positive outlook on life.  They are optimistic and continue to be so even when their hopes are dashed.  Have you had any times during your writing career when your ‘hopes have been dashed’ and please would you share with us any strategies you used to overcome negative feelings?
I did a particularly intense course with the Writers Bureau a few years ago and even though I enjoyed some of the modules, I am not especially academic and found the homework quite difficult. I took the course when my daughter, who is autistic, was going through many changes and I probably wasn’t concentrating as I should have been. I did go through a time after doing that course when I asked the question, “am I really cut out to be a writer?” But I think every writer asks themselves that at some point in their career.
Another time I had my hopes dashed was when I started sending out submissions for Discovery at Rosehill. After receiving the usual rejections, that I did expect to receive, I decided my book was good enough to publish and so the optimistic side of me took over. I self-published and have since sold many copies both in paperback and eBook versions. Optimism always pays off in the end.

  • Having a passion for justice, Sagittarians are usually on the side of the underdog in society.  They will fight for any cause they believe to be just and are prepared to be rebellious.  Is this something you have included in any of your work?  Has a character been the underdog?
Not yet! But my next novel is a murder/suspense and the main character will be flawed. I intend for her to be liked by other characters in the book and I imagine she will be someone readers will be able to relate to, but nonetheless, she will have a dark side! I do expect justice, but I am leaving my mind open with this novel…

  • Sagittarians make excellent researchers.  Please would you share with us how you research your writing projects?
When researching Discovery at Rosehill, I needed to get in touch with other mediums as my main character, Camilla Armstrong, is a medium. I wanted lots of different points of view and wanted to learn how other mediums conducted themselves when practicing mediumship. Some didn’t want to help I’m afraid, but one in particular, Lorraine Holloway-White, has become a very close friend and I owe a lot of my research to her.
The only research I feel I need to do for my next novel is that of a policing aspect and I need to learn about drugs. I’m not saying another word!

  • Being strong willed and good at organising, Sagittarians are able to bring any project they undertake to a successful conclusion.  Are you organised in your writing projects?  Is there a specific strategy that works for you from the start to the finish of a writing project?
I never leave a writing project until it’s finished. Take my blog for example; I schedule posts for the morning so that I can publish at least three or four a week. I make sure I can finish them and not leave them half done. Writing Discovery at Rosehill was quite difficult for me in some aspects, because I suffer with epilepsy and spent around eight months not being able to concentrate on my writing. This meant the book was waiting and I was getting more and more behind. I am organised so far as my blog is concerned and I truly hope that when I start my next manuscript I will be much more organised than I was with Discovery at Rosehill.

  • Sagittarians are prone to anger and impatience.  They want to rush every new project through immediately and demand too much of others.  Do you feel this may reflect in your projects? And if you do, please would you share with us the strategies you use to overcome it?
I used to be very impatient. Over the years however, I have developed a strong will because of my daughter’s condition. Patience comes with the territory and I have had no choice but to adopt a different approach. I guess you could ask my husband about my anger issues. His answer will most likely be, “when it’s first thing in a morning, don’t say a word…”!! When I was well enough to continue with Discovery at Rosehill, I did want to rush it and had to pace myself. My editor pointed out a few times that she felt I had rushed some scenes, particularly ones that involved having meals. I did a few re-writes to rectify this and realised that she was right.

  • Sagittarians are freedom loving and fear responsibility.  Please would you share with us how you overcome any fears you have with deadlines?
I don’t know if I could work to a strict deadline because of my life style. As I’ve mentioned, my daughter is autistic and when she’s not in school, I find it impossible to concentrate on writing anything other than a blog post or joining in on social networking sites. If I was fortunate enough to be offered a book deal (please), I would have to speak very honestly and have a few consultations when it came to deadlines. I guess I’ll always put my daughter first. And that’s just the way I am.

  • Those born with their sun in the zodiac sign of Sagittarius are very sociable but writing is a solitary occupation.  Do you belong to any writing/reading groups? (if so, how does this benefit you?) Do you express your ‘social side’ in the arena of social media?  What do you feel social media can bring to you as a writer?
I honestly would never say I was sociable. I am, in fact, extremely unsociable. I hardly ever go out, I never go to parties and rarely go anywhere that I’ve been invited to unless it’s something really special. I hate dressing up and making conversation and I don’t drink alcohol so I always feel socialising in the evenings isn’t for me.
However, I love social networking. I am a member of many websites where I interact regularly with other members, and I love using Twitter and Facebook. Together with my Blog which is immensely important to me, I have made many wonderful friends through social networking, some have become very close friends.
My drawback is my confidence. I lack confidence too much and know I need to get over this. I’d love to appear on television, be in a film or a drama; I used to love acting at an Amateur Dramatics Society when I was young, and, apart from writing a best seller, my ambition is to act in my own drama. Opposite Martin Shaw of course.
Thank you for spending time with us today Kathryn.

Kathryn is a showcased author with Loveahappyending which is an interactive reader/author website.  Visit Loveahappyending to find out more about this brilliant project and how you, as a reader, can support them. 

Author Weblinks:
Twitter: @CrystalJigsaw
My novel, Discovery at Rosehill, is available in paperback at AmazonUK, Amazon US and, Kindle and Smashwords. 
  • Paperback: 260 pages
  • Publisher: (17 Mar 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 1447501055
  • ISBN-13: 978-1447501053

Finding your dream home is difficult enough, but what if you found it and then discovered it was haunted? Medium Camilla Armstrong is led to the beautiful Rosehill country estate after communication with her deceased grandmother. On first inspection she senses tranquillity within the house; the gentle atmosphere of a Georgian manor that is crying out for new life. But when she moves in, Camilla discovers the house contains a dark secret, one which is to change her life forever. When The Reverend Marcus Calloway introduces himself to her, a friendship develops and Camilla realises she could at last have found her true love. But all is not what it seems when further spirit contact confirms that Marcus harbours a guilty secret. Spirit communication, manifestations and an eerie atmosphere all add to Camilla’s new surroundings as she tries hard to decipher mixed messages and a life she never knew existed.


2 thoughts on “Shaz Stars interviews author Kathryn Brown

  1. You strike me a very organised, juggling all that you do – and getting that blog out, to say little of self-pubbing your book. That takes a tremendous amount of organisational skill. Well done you! And, yes, I think you’re right, every writer – certainly those I know – wonders whether they are cut out for it at some point. Love the sound of your new book. No getting yourself arrested in the name of research though! 🙂 x

  2. Thank you, Sheryl. I’ve never really seen myself as organised!! But I guess looking at the amount of things I juggle I just might be a little organised!

    Kathryn x

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