In Under the Stars and Quintessentially Yours, our author of the month Linn B Halton introduced us to the lovely Katherine Dale aka CK. Today we have CK in the interview seat.
Thank you so much, it’s wonderful to be here! Although my name is Katherine Dale (that’s me on the left) – you might know me from Under The Stars and the sequel, Quintessentially Yours – my friends call me CK. I’m not used to stepping out from the pages, so this is a first for me and I LOVE it!
Was there anything particular that inspired you to start your journey of being a character in a novel?
To be honest, one moment there I was, quietly living my life and the next WHAM! I was inside author Linn B Halton’s head and telling her what to write. It was such a great experience that I did it all over again, and inspired the sequel. She wasn’t best pleased at the time as she was writing something else, but I kept popping up and making her laugh – until she gave in! What I found was that it’s actually quite hard being a character in a novel. I mean, this is my life we are talking about and … umm … I’ve made a few mistakes. OK, a LOT of mistakes. Seeing everything in black and white type on a written page made me cringe at first. What was I thinking? But Linn told me there was no point in telling the story unless I was prepared to bare all, and she convinced me that people like a story about life’s struggle. We all have our weaknesses though, don’t we?
The fame, and the fact that people recognise me all the time. I’m often asked for my autograph and strangers come up to me in the street to give me a hug. They also want to meet No. 4, as he really stole the show in the novels. He’s had an offer to be featured in the TV ads for a well-known cat food company and now has his own agent.
If you could only read four books for the rest of your life, what would they be?
1.Follow Your Dreams by Cheryl Caldwell (see below).
2. The Woman in White Wilkie Collins.
3. The Angelique series by Sergeanne Golon.
4. Giraffe’s Can’t Dance by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees (Leyla’s current favourite)
Do you and your author share any personality traits?
Oh, do we! Well … first of all we are both Geminis and compulsive starter/finishers. Linn’s more of a hopeless romantic than I am, but then she met Mr Right very early on in her life. Me – well, I am a romantic NOW, of course, because I have the lovely James in my life. But before that? Well, I lost count of the number of bad dates I had and when I hit thirty I simply gave up waiting for love to happen. My working life was hectic and the thought of yet another evening spent going through the agonies of a ‘first meeting’ stopped having any appeal whatsoever. Aside from that, we are both well-organised, busy people who live life to the full. The downside to that is it’s easy to take on way too much and end up burning the candle at both ends. But I figure that if you’re happy in what you’re doing, what does it matter? I am very happy with my life now, especially since the event that signalled ‘The End’ of Quintessentially Yours. Life is looking remarkably good. I’m still sleep-deprived at the moment and a struggling writer with a partner who writes horoscope forecasts for a living. Bless, but I still can’t read James’ forecasts and find comfort in them – so Mark Ainsley-Thomas will always be my horoscope guru. But I’m in a relationship that is looking forward to celebrating its third anniversary and for the first time ever, I feel complete.
If you could live in any other book, what book would it be?
Well, I think I’d have to take all of my fellow characters with me and after a group discussion we had a vote. We decided that we’d rather like to live in ‘Follow Your Dreams: (Except for That One Where You Go to Work Naked and Dance the Polka)’ by Cheryl Caldwell. It’s a book to cheer you up and the drawings put a smile on your face, no matter what’s happening around you!
Was the plot true to life, or did you stray a little into fantasy? If so, where did those ideas come from? Dreams? Music?
Sadly, it was all true to life. As soon as something new happened I was there in Linn’s head sharing it and never stopped to consider the fact that people who didn’t know me would soon be reading my life story! I do dream, of course, but it’s usually about having a little ‘me’ time; like a dream fantasy. The phone doesn’t ring, the pc is switched off and no one is asking me to do something urgently that simply can’t wait. I’m lying on the bed, face covered in my favourite green cucumber and lime facepack and listening to John Newman, with a flavour of northern soul. Linn: Apologies, guys, but I have to interrupt here. That’s not a dream, CK, and to set the record straight it’s a part of my life, not yours. John Newman was there in the background all the time I was writing the sequel – I played his two albums back-to-back. You can’t claim that as a dream, because it’s MY reality. Just thought I ought to set the record straight here …
Oops … I think we’ll move on quickly. Any advice for aspiring characters-to-be?
Be yourself. Don’t try to put on an act, or hide your emotions. Readers go through very similar things themselves and we all make mistakes, right? Actually, the whole point of life is that we live and learn. Or, as I say, live TO learn. It isn’t easy making mistakes and going through the angst, but if I’m being honest with you, life would be rather boring if it was all about playing it safe. I have one motto – do what feels right for YOU. If it all goes wrong, pick yourself up off the floor and keep on going.
Keep it real and people will connect with you.
Readers are great people – and the enthusiasm and support they give you as you reveal your story is a tonic. At the end, some even write to you by way of ‘a review’. Knowing that someone kept turning the pages because they couldn’t put you down makes it all so worthwhile. And you know what they say – sharing is caring. My biggest mistakes might just make someone else stop and think before they do the exact same thing. Now if I could just talk Linn into writing book number three … but she says she’s much too busy!
It’s been such fun, thank you!
Love, life and beyond... but it's ALWAYS about the romance!
Find out more about Linn's characters:
Want to read CK's story for yourself?
Under the Stars