To celebrate the release of her new book, If only he'd told her, we asked author Katherine Markland to join our 'seven things' series and let readers in on some fascinating facts all about her! Here's what she had to reveal...
1. If only he’d told her is largely based on my own story. It’s the story of a girl who falls in love with a man who is dying and while they both try and deny the impeding death to start, they have to face it, it tears them apart, but in the end, they come back together. It’s a romance, but not a standard boy-girl romance – it’s clear from the start that they get together, it’s more about relationships, the good and the bad, and what these tell us about ourselves.
2. The writing process helped me work through the grief. I’m a very private person, I’m not good at talking, but in experiencing terminal illness and death, I had a lot of feelings to sort out, and by writing them down, that was helpful. Every time you rewrite or reread a passage, you learn something new. The writing process helped me a lot.
3. I’m hoping the book will help others too. Death and illness are tough topics – topics we all will or have experienced, but no-one really talks about them. Everyone’s experiences will be different, but I wanted basically to let others know that they’re not alone, there’s nothing wrong with how they’re feeling, and in the end that they will come through. I found others’ stories helpful at the beginning and this is my return.
4. This is my first novel. I have always loved writing. I can be creative, but I also get very easily bored, I couldn’t write all day or write full time, and I can’t be creative under pressure, but relaxed and at my own pace, I really enjoy it. I’d done a few creative writing courses before starting the novel, but couldn’t really come up with a story – I was writing a lot of single scenes, and they were good and I enjoyed that, then life presented a story to me and I made the most of the opportunity.
5. The book is exactly the type of book that I like to read. I love books, I love stories, but especially those with some intrigue. Every story has a little intrigue – you never know what’s going to happen and how everything’s going to turn out, but films can be very predictable, books seem to have more flexibility. One of my favourite books is Nancy Mitford’s Love in a Cold Climate. It’s a short book, and nothing really seems to happen, until you get to the final five minutes and it all happens then – it’s brilliant.
6. My book is about relationships, and this is where my background lies. I read Psychology at University, and have continued in that field ever since. I’ve always been interested in people. The one thing I really gained from my degree was the knowledge that everything anyone does, can be understood – there is always a reason, you just have to look deep or wide enough.
7. My other favourite books are also about people, but again about looking deep or wide enough. My two real favourites are Veronika decides to die by Paulo Coehlo,and The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood. These are both about looking for something more and there always being something more to be found. My own book is like this – if you look hard enough, you will find the answer.
If only he'd told her by Katherine Markland is available now.
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