About Katie Ward
Q. Previous occupations
A. I’ve worked in the public and voluntary sectors in community project roles, including at a women’s refuge, and for a Member of Parliament.
Q. Favorite job
A. I've had some lovely jobs, but writing is best.
Q. High school and/or college
A. City University London.
Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?
Q. Favorite movie
Q. Favorite television show
A. Past: ‘The Jewel in the Crown’. Present: ‘Sherlock’.
Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
A. Books, cats, art, and a cup of tea.
Q. What is your motto or maxim?
A. ‘Try again. Fail again. Fail better.’ – Samuel Beckett
Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
A. Breakfast in bed.
Q. What’s your greatest fear?
A. That one day my husband will refuse to catch the spiders which find their way indoors, and I’ll have to learn to do it myself.
Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
A. I love city breaks, but I love being at home too.
Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
A. I identify with Virginia Woolf’s frailty and self-doubt, her eccentric lifestyle and drab domesticity. When she writes about writing, lots of it rings true.
Q. Which living person do you most admire?
A. Hilary Mantel.
Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
A. Intuition. Colour. Breath.
Q. What do you regret most?
A. Any time spent looking back, when I should be looking forwards.
Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
A. I wish my handwriting was neater.
Q. What is your greatest achievement?
A. A happy marriage.
Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
A. There are so many, and this is a rather tiny box! Let’s go with ... being moody.
Q. What’s your best quality?
A. A loving heart.
Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
A. Florence + the Machine.
Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
A. I’m a bit too tall.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
A. Hazel from ‘Watership Down’. You have to admire a bunny rabbit with leadership skills.
Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
A. Lady Marchmain from ‘Brideshead Revisited’. She’s toxic.
Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
A. I wish I could tell you, but I’m currently writing about her. Or him.
Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
A. People who complain too much.
Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
A. Going to the theatre or an art gallery. Or both, ideally.
Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
A. Devising and writing episodes of Columbo.
Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
A. Compassion. Humour. Serenity.
Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
A. ‘Make you Feel My Love’ by Bob Dylan; ‘Shake it Out’ by Florence + the Machine; ‘Blind’ by Hercules and Love Affair; ‘Heat Wave’ by Martha and the Vandellas; ‘Sweet Dreams’ by Eurythmics
On Books and Writing
Q. Who are your favorite authors?
A. There are so many! Here are just a few names which spring to mind: Sarah Waters, Tracy Chevalier, Salley Vickers, Hilary Mantel, Virginia Woolf, Barbara Kingsolver, Michael Cunningham, David Mitchell and Evelyn Waugh. There are plenty others, of course. I am changeable.
Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
A. Only 5? Harsh ... ‘I Capture the Castle’ by Dodie Smith; ‘Just Kids’ by Patti Smith; ‘A Place of Greater Safety’ by Hilary Mantel; ‘A Room of One’s Own’ by Virginia Woolf; ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
A. ‘Brideshead Revisited’ by Evelyn Waugh. I've revisited several times.
Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
A. Practice, practice, practice.
Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
A. ‘Is it a novel, or short stories?’