Summer 2022: Salt Air and Green Mountains

Summer 2022: Salt Air and Green Mountains

Hello pals,

Welcome to the inaugural edition of Soft Light Slow! Featuring updates on my writing projects, what I’ve loved reading, and any noteworthy adventures. The newsletter will wing its way to you quarterly and I hope you like it.

Pages: Writing

I’ve been having such fun working on my ‘heist hijinks on the high seas’ fantasy novel involving a queer polycule of Asian pirates featuring swashbuckling, kissing, monsters, and magic. It features so many of my favourite tropes and I can’t wait for you to meet this chaotic cast of characters soon. Here’s an aesthetic I created to give you a flavour of what’s to come.
I’m so overjoyed to share this beautiful artwork for my interwoven short story collection inspired by Filipino folklore. The book is currently on submission being read by editors, and to celebrate I commissioned the immensely talented Filipino artist Pandesai to create this couple portrait of Corazon, an engineer, and Felicidad, a fisherfolk. They were the first characters to exist in my head and they make recurring appearances across several stories. I’ve also included the aesthetic I gave Pandesai as one of the references – they were an absolute dream to work with and I’d thoroughly recommend them!
I’m also absolutely delighted to share the news that my story ‘Mango Heart’ will feature in forthcoming eco-horror anthology Reclamation, publishing with Outland Entertainment in 2023. This is a poignant and hopeful piece about our bodies and the land, and follows a lesbian couple by the sea with the weight of unspeakable love and grief between them. I’m a visual writer, so I love pulling together aesthetics for all projects, big and small.
I was also delighted to be featured as part of the Edinburgh Women’s Mural celebrating 100 prominent figures past and present. The mural was on display in Edinburgh’s Central Library and it was so surreal and lovely to go and see it in person.

Pages: Reading

Here’s a small selection of books I’ve recently loved and hope you will too.
Tiny Moons by Nina Mingya Powles
Jam-packed with lush descriptions of travelling and eating over a year in Shanghai. The sort of book you swallow in one gulp and leaves you full for days afterwards. I fell in love with Powles’ writing after working on her debut memoir-nature writing book Small Bodies of Water.Legends and Lattes by Travis Baldree
A cosy slice-of-life ‘low stakes’ fantasy sprinkled with romance, following a retired orc who seeks a new type of adventure and opens a cafe. The novel equivalent of a comforting cup of tea. I truly would love to spend time living in this world!

Our Wives Under the Sea by Julia Armfield
A strange unnerving and beautiful novel about married lesbian Leah and Miri couple dealing with the fall-out of Leah returning from the deep ocean…changed. I’ve been a devotee of Armfield’s writing since salt slow and this was utterly beguiling.

Time on Rock: A Climber’s Route into the Mountains by Anna Fleming
Interweaving her own story with social, geographic, and literary histories of mountain regions across the UK – a fascinating mix of memoir, nature, and travel writing. I had the pleasure of chairing Anna at a festival and re-invigorating my love for climbing!

Tell Me I’m Worthless by Alison Rumfitt
A haunted house novel like you’ve never seen before. A dark experimental jewel of horror featuring deliciously complicated queer and trans characters and holding up a mirror to ugliness in our culture and history. Pushing this into the hands of everyone I know.

The Modern Craft: Powerful voices on witchcraft ethics edited by Claire Askew and Alice Tarbuck

A gender-inclusive collection of essays on contemporary witchcraft and the ethics of magic. The editors run wonderful witchcraft workshops under ‘Toil and Trouble’ which I’ve loved, and such joy to sit with a beautifully contemplative book.

Out There by Kate Folk
I adore short story collections and absorbed the multi-narrator audiobook of this literary-speculative cross-over work. Folk’s concepts are glorious and strange and her prose in turns hilarious, heartfelt, and dazzling. Certainly an author I’ll be watching.

Summerwater by Sarah Moss
A compact tense novel set in a holiday park on the edge of a loch, told through intimate character studies and a breathless hurtle towards the climax. I found Sarah Moss through Ghost Wall, and this novel is another masterful look at the spectrum of human experience.

I’ve loved chairing panels and running writing workshops at various festivals such as Granite Noir, Aye Write, and Cymera over the past few months. I’ll have an exciting opportunity to announce in the Autumn, so writers of all things spooky and folklore take note! 

I’m taking the summer away from events and workshops, travelling back to Canada for the first time in several years. I look forward to seeing old friends and loved ones, swimming in the Pacific, and basking in the Rockies. Hope you have some gorgeous summer plans.

Til autumn, stay soft light slow,
Kat x

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