Author Interview: Kathy Ferber

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Today it gives me great pleasure to introduce Kathy Ferber, author of ‘The Sun’s Companion’.

kathleenjones

My interview with Kathleen:

What is the title or working title of your current book?

It’s called The Sun’s Companion – the title comes from the theory that the sun has a dark twin star called Nemesis that causes cosmic catastrophes.  My characters, caught up in historical events beyond their control, are at the mercy of Nemesis.

sunscompanion

Please provide us with a brief synopsis of your book.

It begins in 1935.  Tamar Fell has no family – or so she=s been told – and she relies on the friends she makes as she=s dragged from lodging house to lodging house by her mother – the reckless, beautiful Sadie.  Then Tamar meets Anna Weissmann, exiled from her own family by European politics, and they forge a friendship that will last through bereavement, failed love affairs, internment, betrayal, and the dislocations of war.

What genre does your current book fall under?
It’s a 20th century historical romance.

Do you always write for the same genre?

No – I’m better known as a biographer and poet – I’ve published 7 biographies and two collections of poetry, and I’ve also worked in journalism (Cosmo and She) and for the BBC.

Who or what motivates or inspires you to write?

I’ve written since I was a small child – it seems like an addiction (or a curse!) I can’t get away from.  I just don’t feel right unless I have a pen in my hand.

Tell us about your writing background.

I started writing at school and always wanted to be a writer – though I hadn’t a clue how you became one.  I got married as a teenager and had four children, which made it much more difficult!  But I made it in the end, publishing poems in little magazines, freelancing in journalism, bits and pieces here and there, and then doing some things for BBC radio, which led to my first book.

How long does it typically take you to write a first draft?

Depends a bit on the book – my last biography took 5 years!  But the novel was much quicker.  The fastest I’ve ever written a book was 7 months.

Do you employ an editor to assist you in your writing process?

Most of my books have been traditionally published and so they’ve been edited by the publisher.  I’ve had to pay an editor to work on my self-published books – I wouldn’t like to do it myself – you just miss so much.

Are you self-published or represented by an agency?

I’m both.  I have an agent, but the climate is so difficult now I’m self publishing rather than going down the traditional route.  It can take nearly two years for an agent to read and submit a manuscript, only for it to be rejected on marketing criteria. Who wants to waste two years?

Do you have future projects we can look forward to?

I have another novel, The Centauress, ready to go in January.  It’s set in Istria, Venice and New York, in the aftermath of 9/11.  It’s slightly autobiographical, in that the heroine goes to Istria to write the biography of a famous artist and it completely changes her life.

Do you have any tips or advice to offer fellow writers?

Believe in yourself – if you don’t have that confidence, then your readers won’t believe in you either.  But it’s the hardest thing in the world.  Being part of a co-operative group of authors is good if you’re self-published – they keep your ego stroked! I’m a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors and a co-operative called Authors Electric – it’s made a real difference.

Is there anything else you would like to share with your potential readers?

Just keep on reading!  Writers can’t do without you!

Tell us how we can connect with you in the world of social media

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Comments (22)

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  1. Becoming a writer, something they just don't teach in school.

    • Geek Girl says:

      Seems that way these days.

  2. findingourwaynow says:

    What a great review. I love a good read and this sounds very worthy of checking out. Thank you for bring this author and her work to the forefront. 🙂

    • Geek Girl says:

      Thanks! 🙂

  3. JeriWB says:

    I'm definitely going to check out the biographies that Kathleen has written. I don't read as many bios and memoirs as I would like, but they really are one of my favorite genres.

    • Geek Girl says:

      Very cool. 🙂

  4. Good heavens, seven biographies! She's a very accomplished writer. It's very true that having supportive people around can make a big difference when you're writing. Nice to know about this lady, and all the best to her!

    • Geek Girl says:

      Yes indeed she is a very accomplished writer. 🙂

  5. Writing is very challenging and I think that you are smart to be going down the route of self-publishing. why wait 2 years to get a print copy…you may have a large number of sales in 2 years.

    • Geek Girl says:

      I think self-publishing in this age we live in only makes sense. Why be at the mercy of a publisher?

  6. Susan Oakes says:

    Another good review Cheryl. The book sounds interesting and will have to check it out.

    • Geek Girl says:

      Thanks Susan. 🙂

  7. namirusso says:

    Thank you for this interview! It seems all writers have that same inner voice and all it takes is someone to actually say it – just write, already! Loved this.

    • Geek Girl says:

      It would seem that many of us need someone to say 'just write'. 🙂

  8. Lubna says:

    I like the cover of this book and the plot seems quite intriguing. Thanks for posting this interview. You learn so much through an interview.

    • Geek Girl says:

      I love doing the interviews. 🙂

  9. A really interesting interview and author, Cheryl. Her biographies are so British and many of the books she has written sound interesting.

    Interesting to note that nowadays it takes about two years for an agent to get an answer from a publishing house.

    • Geek Girl says:

      Yeah, not much good if your book is date sensitive.

  10. Good post. I like the Sun vs. Nemesis concept, even if you don't share this belief specifically the idea of duality is something we can all relate to and it makes a sound organizing principal.

  11. Geek Girl says:

    Yeah, I like the concept too. 🙂

  12. icescreammama says:

    Thanks for an interesting interview. I'm definitely interested in the traditional route of publishing vs self publishing. And Kathleen's comment about confidence really hit home. If you don't believe in yourself, it's hard to sell yourself to others. I definitely struggle with that.
    Thanks for visiting my blog! 🙂

    • Geek Girl says:

      I also struggle with the whole confidence thing. My readers and my family give me the support I need to keep moving forward. It is really nice to meet you. I hope you stop by again. 🙂