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Author Interview: Kate Foster

March 20, 2017

This is the seventh interview in my series of Author Interviews.

Pull up a chair, sit back and relax. Enjoy reading.

Introducing Kate Foster, author of Winell Road.


I have the oddest sensation… Like I am being followed. I’m on my way to my interview with the lovely Kate but there is this buzzing that has been following me for the past few minutes. It’s really quite bizarre. What’s even more odd… I keep hearing giggling. Oh, there she is…

Hi Kate, it’s so good of you to give me a little of your time. First up, tell me a bit about yourself.

First up, tell us a bit about yourself. (How do you spend your day? Do you work? What do you enjoy doing in your free time?)

Thanks for having me! Well, I’m an editor, so my days are spent editing! Luckily, I love editing so it works out well. But within that role, my days can be pretty varied. On top of working on manuscripts, I also invite, read and publish guest blogs on my website, host book releases, cover reveals and so on; my partner, Rebecca, and I are currently running a fun blog theme where we critique 250 words authors send in and post them on the #EditFoster blog. On top of my freelance work, I am the editorial director at Lakewater Press, where I, again, edit books, but also liaise with the authors and other staff members about our books, research promotional and review opportunities, read submissions, blog, tweet, and SO MUCH MORE. Plus, I am a Twitter head so probably spend too much time on there.

I’m also a mum of three boys, wife, and dog owner, so there’s those adult things to attend to each day. Right now, I’m binge watching The Walking Dead with my eldest son (not for the first time!).

Woah, three boys. Where do you even find time to write? Now, tell me about your writing…

What age were you when you started?

Young. Single figures. I loved books – often getting in trouble for reading when I should have been doing other things – and was always concocting my own stories to tell. I think my first story was called Monty Mouse that my brother mocked for years afterwards! But that just made me more determined. And the first nod that I wasn’t a bad writer came after I received a bunch of team points and a smile from the most miserable teacher on the planet for a short story I wrote when I was about nine. 

How did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I don’t think I ever thought I could be or wanted to be a writer. I just wrote – it was more a necessity or part of who I was: I went to school, I played flute, I did gymnastics, I wrote. And it wasn’t until I was much older that I started to wonder why I’d never shared my work more openly in my younger years – but perhaps that was a good thing!

What was your favourite book as a child and why?

Anything Enid Blyton. I read and re-read her books time and again. It was all just so magical and random. I would get lost, truly, and always so disappointed when the stories ended.

Ahhhh! Me too!

So, favourite book as an adult?

This is a bit harder to answer, but really the book that has stuck with me, inspired my own work, is The Uninvited by Liz Jensen. It’s so dark and gloriously disturbing. I love it.

I have to also mention A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Just because. It’s a masterclass in writing. Stunning.

Oh Gosh, I love Patrick Ness… have your read “The rest of us just live here.” ??

Tell me a bit about Winell Road?

How did you come up with the idea?

Winell Road all started from a scene in the movie True Lies; that big revelation scene when Arnie comes clean to his wife about whom he really is. Within an hour, I had this idea of something similar happening to a young boy – everything and everyone he’s ever known one day turn out to be completely and utterly different. And it just grew from there.

Ha ha! I love that movie. Tell me about Jack? Is he based on anyone you know?

Jack is actually a mixture of my two eldest children. Quiet and unassuming, stupidly observant, and with so much untapped potential. Jack has no grasp of how special he is, has always considered himself to be decidedly average, but isn’t a typical boisterous boy. He’s thoughtful and trusting and loyal.

How did you come up with Jack’s story?

I don’t really know! It just kind of evolved. I had the ending written, the character profiles detailed, and the world built before I had a firm plot, so the story grew from its surroundings. I knew I had to throw Jack into some pretty testing situations and watch him first drown and then kick hard for the surface. I had to scare him, challenge him, and then, when he thinks he’s figured everything out, pull the rug out from under his feet again. (For anyone worried about my kids now, don’t be!)

Tell me about Roxy? How did you come up with her strange story?

Roxy was, I guess, the girl I wished I had been when I was young (not the height and crazy hair, though). Confident, sassy, a leader. I never really knew who I was as a kid and changed peer groups often attempting to find myself, so Roxy’s grounded attitude is what I now strive to have. I mean, she’s had an unsettled family life, something I never had, but yet she knows who she is, grips the wheel and steers life how she wants.

How did you come up with the Freonds? These were my favourite characters.

Little green men from outer space have been around since the beginning – this image must have come from somewhere, right? – and because of this cliché most sci-fi will never have little green men from outer space. So I thought, let’s have some little green men from outer space! But really, it’s because of their clichéd appearance that sends Jack’s rational thinking into overdrive and sets the course of the book into motion. 

Have you always wanted to write MG science fiction?

MG, yes. My voice and imagination are just stuck in this age group.

Science fiction, I don’t know. It’s not something I’ve always written; in fact, most of my other novels are MG horror or super dark fantasy. But Winell Road just happened that way.

What is your writing process?

Err…I don’t really have one! It’s hit and miss with me and totally dependent on the book I’m writing – they have all proved different.

I absolutely hate first drafts, so when I write a new book I go from passionate one day to dramatic and beaten the next. I can do anything from 100 to 6000 words a day. One thing I’m very particular about is not editing as I draft. I mean, some things have to be altered if the course of the book takes an unexpected path, but I refrain from revising in detail until the first draft upset is over.

How long did it take you to write Winell Road?

From conception to today’s polished, published edition, has been about five years. But, it would be deceiving of me to suggest I wrote Winell Road continually for five years! The first draft probably took three or four months, if I remember correctly, but I’ve had CPs, manuscript critiques, beta reads, an agent, several publication offers, a publisher, and editors all chipping in with suggestions for change! So, although the core of the story has remained unchanged, the surface has altered immensely. But, I do feel this current edition is the sparkliest it’s ever been.

I understand this is a series? What are your plans for book two? How is that going?

Well, book 2 is written but needs editing. I am hoping to release it later this year now that book 1 is finally settled. Book 3 has been outlined for some time but needs drafting. So, if anyone has any spare time they can lend me… I am actually considering a writing retreat during the second half of the year so I can get things moving again.

Woooo… more to come.

Finally, what advice would you give to someone wanting to write a book?

The only way to write a book is to write a book. That sounds ridiculous, I know, but too many people say they want to write a book, dabble with a couple of chapters or maybe even half of it, then give up as they lose their direction or passion. To complete a novel you need dedication and determination, you need to be able to fight through barriers, emotional breakdowns, lack of motivation, that evil inner voice that screams “YOU SUCK!” Urgh, the whole process is tough and requires a s**tload of effort.

Also, make writer friends! As many as you can. Not necessarily in the flesh, virtual writing buddies are just as cool. Then give and receive support as freely as you can. I know so many successful writers who would’ve packed up writing if it wasn’t for their writing companions. 

Thank you, Kate, it has been so good to talk to you. I cannot wait to read book two!! And Winell Road is now available in paperback! I check my wallet. Phew.

I wave and head off down a suburban street. After a few steps I realize that buzzing is back again. Okay, that’s it. Where…

I look up. Ah… Is that… A flying saucer?

Oh oh…


About Winell Road

Living on Winell Road is hardly fun, not when your neighbors are weirder than your own parents.

But the road has a secret few people know.

And Jack’s about to uncover it.

Mystery, action and adventure. This award-winning sci-fi series is -highly recommended- for middle grade readers.

For fans of Men in Black and Zac Power, Winell Road is jam-packed with -loads of twists and turns- that will keep you guessing to the end.


And guess what… as mentioned earlier, Winell Road is now out in paperback!! Buy it now and have a read, or get it as a gift for those little readers who like the hands on approach 😊

You can find Kate at the following…

Website –

Twitter –

Facebook –

Amazon –


I have reviewed Winell Road – If you would like to see my thoughts – please go here

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