Kathy Tiernan - Headshots, Author Interview

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Hi Kathy, Can you tell us about yourself and what inspired you to live and work in Northumberland?
I’ve always been fascinated by history. I grew up in Northumberland with the past on my doorstep – a fourteenth century pele tower next to our house!  My favourite book as a kid was ‘Sword of Northumbria’ by Philip Woodruff. It’s long out of print, but his stories of medieval Northumbria fired my imagination.  Now, so many years later, I’ve moved back to Northumberland and am writing my own stories about its history. Although I’ve spent a lot of my working life in the south I feel I’ve come back home.

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Which part of your job do you enjoy most?
When I’m in the zone and completely absorbed in what I’m writing about.

What tips would you give to someone starting out as a writer?
It’s important to learn your trade, but even more to write about things that really engage you.

What is the best feedback you have ever had?
When I was twelve my English teacher gave me top marks for a story called ‘The Storm’.
Underneath it she wrote, ‘I wonder if you will become a writer one day?’

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Who do you admire most in the world and why?
I love Thomas Hardy. For me, he is the great writer about the English countryside and about the rural communities of his time.

Do you have a favourite quote that you turn to for inspiration?
‘Show don’t tell.’ It gets drummed into your head on creative writing courses till you’re sick of it, but it is the single piece of advice I return to most often.

What is the biggest challenge you face as an author?
There are two challenges for an author. One is to have the stamina to complete a novel, with all the revisions and re-writings involved. The second is to convince a publisher that you have produced a masterpiece that the world is waiting for.

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How will you use your headshots and how do you feel they will benefit your business?
One of the headshots will be used on the dust-cover of my forthcoming novel, ‘Cuthbert; The
Making of a Saint’, to be published by Sacristy Press. I’m also planning to use the photos to create my author website.

What does a typical workday look like for you?
I write in the mornings, with a break for coffee. Depending on what else I have on, I sometimes work for another hour or two in the early evening. I try not to think about writing later in the day or the mind is still plotting at 2a/m!

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Thank you Kathy, I'm really looking forward to your book coming out.   I must say we had an eventful shoot, from the thick 'pea soup' fog on the wild and windy causeway of Lindisfarne to the sun beating down on us inland while we walked uphill to St Cuthbert's Cave, then on the way down you saved me from stepping on an adder snake!  Such a fun and memorable! day, good luck with the book launch, Sarah :)

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