When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I’ve always written stories for my own amusement, a bit like a hobby really. I wrote my first full length novel in my early thirties, it was really bad but it sparked off a need in me to write another novel. Since then I have completed three unpublished novels and have five half- finished novels hiding in my laptop. I guess it’s just something inside you that has to get out!
How long does it take you to write a book?
It depends on how much time I have to write. Usually it takes about six months including a first round of self-editing. I find I write better if I set myself deadlines otherwise I can become distracted by real life.
What is your schedule like when you’re writing?
If I have a period of free time I like to write in the morning, otherwise I write at night. If the writing is flowing I can write for hours without a break but if it’s not, I really struggle to keep going for an hour and will probably delete everything I wrote the next day.
Where do you get your ideas for your books?
I’m a bit of a news junkie and there is always something that will plant the seed of an idea for a story. Having said that, The Right to be Forgotten was inspired by an incident I witnessed as I was driving back from work one evening. I saw a car parked at the side of the road. A man and a woman were standing by the side of the car obviously having a major argument. It was a really busy road and it seemed a strange place to stop. Driving home I started to think about under what circumstances someone might feel that they should try to intervene and calm things down. The idea for the book took off from there.
Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?
The book I’m working on at the moment is a stand- alone book but I have written a synopsis for a novel involving, Milly, one of the characters in The Right to be Forgotten, and that will be my next book.
What is your writing weak spot and what have you done to improve on it?
I have lots of writing weak spots but one I’m very conscious of is Punctuation. I have the Penguin Guide to Punctuation with me at all times when I’m writing.
If you could tell your younger writing-self anything, what would it be?
Don’t give up or become disheartened by the mounting pile of rejections. Enjoy writing for its own sake and if you get published, that is the icing on the cake.
What is the first book that made you cry?
Edith Wharton’s House of Mirth. Lily Bart is such a strongly written character that I really felt deeply for her as her life unravelled. It’s a book I return to and have appreciated more as I’ve got older.
What’s your favourite under-appreciated novel?
I’m don’t think that this book is necessarily under- appreciated but maybe not so well known, at least not to me. I really enjoyed Patricia Marques’ The Colours of Death. It’s really unusual in that the main protagonist is a police inspector in Lisbon who has the ability to read other people’s minds. As well as being a really good crime thriller it addresses issues about how we treat people who are on the gifted scale.
What is your favourite childhood book?
The Famous Five books. I loved every single one. They gave me the reading bug and I still love mystery, crime and thrillers.
Kris’ debut novel, The Right to be Forgotten, is available in ebook and paperback now. Find the link to your preferred retailer here.