January 2023: Gentle Beginnings

January 2023: Gentle Beginnings

Hi pals,

Hope you all had a joyful festive season. I really enjoyed taking some space to rest, spending time with loved ones, and reflecting on 2022. In terms of writing achievements: I won an Ignyte award for my work at khōréō, published two short stories, went on sub with my short story collection, appeared on event panels, and started drafting my seafaring fantasy novel.

Pages: Writing
I’ve been working on edits for a couple of stories which are forthcoming in anthologies. One is ‘Mango Heart‘, an eco-fantasy publishing in Reclamation: A Climate Change Anthology by Outland Entertainment. The other is ‘Remain Nameless’, a gothic story set in a Catholic girl’s school, with publication details TBA.

I also received my contributor copy of Wizards in Space Issue 8 which features ‘Medicine Woman’. You can order a copy here.

In non-fiction, I had the pleasure of speaking with Kirsty Logan about her new novel Now She Is Witch for The Skinny.
I’ve been hunkered down drafting my high seas fantasy novel. After receiving some constructive advice on Act One and the outline from my agent, I’ve been spending time untangling plot knots and redrawing character arcs. I’m so happy with the new direction and delighted to have passed the halfway mark on the manuscript. Looking forward to seeing what happens next!

Off Page: Events
I’m so excited to be kicking off my 2023 events at What Now? A Marbles Magazine Celebration. I’ll be chatting with Marbles founder Kirstyn Smith and Haunt Publishing founder Rebecca Wojturska about mental health and imagination, covering all shades of speculative fiction. Join us at Lighthouse Books or online on Sat 14th Jan at 7pm.

I’m over the moon to be joining Hannah Kaner launching Godkiller, her amazing fantasy debut. Hannah is an old friend and this is one of my most anticipated reads. It is such a delight – you need this book in your life! Join us at Waterstones Glasgow Sauciehall Street on Thurs 24th Jan at 7pm.

Pages: Reading
Nettle & Bone by T. Kingfisher
This was an unexpected favourite! A fantasy adventure following Marra, a princess turned almost-nun, as she tries to save her sister from an abusive prince. It’s got a wonderful ragtag found family of a bone dog, dustwife, reluctant fairy godmother, former knight, and a possessed chicken. This is a beautiful and heartwarming story about sisterhood and power and managed to be both darkly epic and lightly cosy! Kingfisher also writes under Ursula Vernon and I can’t wait to read more of her work.

Now She Is Witch by Kirsty Logan
I’ve been an avid fan of Logan’s writing for years. Her latest novel follows Lux, a young woman whose mother has been sentenced to death for witchcraft, and Else, a mysterious stranger who asks Lux to help her seek revenge against the man who has wronged them both. I was enthralled by this book – the prose is lush and the plot had me hanging on every page. If you want a deep dive, I’d recommend my interview with the author!

Babel by R.F. Kuang
I spoke with Kuang for Cymera 2020 about The Poppy War trilogy and I’ve been so looking forward to seeing what she does next. Babel is an epic bildungsroman following Robin’s journey from Canton through the intoxicating world of Oxford academia. Kuang’s passion and research shine through and the novel is deeply layered in colonial theory, linguistics, and history. It’s been a while since such a lengthy tome held my attention and every chapter was a treat.

Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
I’ve been so keen for Ng’s next novel after pressing Little Fires Everywhere and Everything I Never Told You into everyone’s hands. Our Missing Hearts follows twelve-year-old Bird and his poet-turned-activist mother Margaret as they live in a near-future dystopian America ruled by PACT, the Preservation of American Culture and Traditions Act. The novel is poignant and stirring and many things: a love letter to parenthood and the power of storytelling; a manifesto on how one voice can make a difference; a damning look at race relations in the USA. It will stay with me for a long time.

Until February, stay soft light slow,
Kat x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.