Books · interviews

Book Author Interview – Katie Lowe

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Hello All!

I have the pleasure to give to you an exclusive interview with KATIE LOWE, the author of The Furies, a book which I love and cherish!

Katie Lowe is a writer living in Worcester, UK. Her debut novel, The Furies has been published by Harperfiction (UK) this May. I have the pleasure to have this amazing short e-interview with Katie, while we discuss who she is, what inspired her to become an author and find out more about her first book.

Who is Katie Lowe?

Well, at the moment, first and foremost, I’m a novelist – spending almost all of my time working on my second book. I’m also about to start my PhD in literature – on the subject of female rage in literary modernism, and contemporary women’s writing – so I’d also say I’m an avid reader!

I live in Worcester, in a lovely little house with my sister, who’s an incredibly talented musician… So I consider myself to be a pretty lucky person, all things considered.

What inspired you to become a writer?

I think in one way or another it’s what I’ve always wanted to be – there’s a photo of on my eighth birthday in front of the typewriter I’d begged my parents for, because even back then, apparently, I took myself very seriously as a writer!

With that said, I always thought I’d write non-fiction – so for a long time, my great dream was to become an academic, or a journalist. It was only when my agent suggested I try my hand at fiction that I even considered I might be able to do it – and even then, I had to work at it for a good four or five years before I figured out how, exactly, fiction works… And that I could have a lot of fun doing it.

What particularly inspired you to write ‘’The Furies’’?


I knew I wanted to write a book about young women – particularly teenage girls – because I remember that period of my own life as being pretty emotionally intense, and full of potential. And the idea of witchcraft as a form of rebellion seemed to me too interesting not to write about. I find it a really powerful idea, personally, to have this history of (often forgotten) women who’ve positioned themselves as outsiders, even in the face of truly terrifying consequences… So I wanted The Furies to, in some way, explore that.

What message do you want to give to your readers through ‘’The Furies’’?

I don’t think there are any characters in the book that are particularly aspirational, or who’d serve in any way as role models – so I’m not sure it’s got an enormously positive message, in that respect. But what I’d love for it to do is to show that women – even, and especially, young women – have real agency, and power, and that they only have to believe in their own ability to harness it to make incredible things happen… Though whether that’s a good thing for the girls in this book, I’ll let your readers decide!

How do you deal with a writer’s block?

To be honest, I’ve never really found writer’s block to be a huge issue – partly because, up until quite literally the last month, I’ve always had to find time to write outside of work, using free minutes here and there… So each time I’ve sat down at my desk, I’ve been desperate to get going.

However, I’ve definitely found myself stuck on plot points, or other technical issues, while writing before – and for me, the best way to keep going is to go and do something else. So, for instance, if I’m stuck on how to move the plot forward, I’ll go back to another part of the book and focus on the description, the dialogue, or something else, and polish it up – and usually while I’m working on that, something will click with the bigger issue, so I can pick up where I left off.

What is the most challenging part when writing a book?


For me, it’s definitely plot. I so admire writers who can put together a really gripping, twisty plot – and it’s what I wanted to learn how to do with The Furies (though I’ll let you decide whether I’ve succeeded!) Writing flowery descriptions and spending time in character’s heads – that, for me, is all a joy – but the mechanics of getting a story from beginning to end in a way that’s believable, and yet unexpected… It’s definitely the biggest challenge, for me – and yet also the most satisfying thing to get right.

What kind of books do you want to read?


Given my PhD topic, this might be a fairly predictable answer – but I love books with complex, angry women – ideally who aren’t particularly likeable, either. I don’t know what that says about me, as a person, but… Here we are.

I also love books that give me an insight into a world, or a situation, that I know nothing about. I think there’s nothing better than closing the last page of a book and feeling like you truly experienced something you’d never have had the opportunity to, otherwise.

What was your favourite read in 2018?

A book that I absolutely adored – by which I mean, kept bringing up in conversation, without any context, and forcing it into the hands of almost-strangers – was Suicide Club by Rachel Heng. It’s an incredibly well-written book, with a brilliant premise – but it’s also deeply bittersweet, and asks a lot of questions about how, and why, we should want to live. I loved it.

Thank you for your time, Katie! It was a pleasure.

If you want to read my thoughts about The Furies, click here.

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble |

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Books

Blood Moon: Part 1 – S. Yurvati [BOOK REVIEW]

blood moon part 1 s yurvati book blog book review blogging diary of difference diaryofdifference

★★★

A beautiful writing, but a confusing adventure, mixed with Out-Of-Earth creatures that don’t really appear until the end of the book, a very disturbing plot, however, a very promising ending as well. I can’t say I enjoyed this book, but it did leave me curious to read the next one.

It is hard to put this book in a certain genre, as it’s quite diverse and quite specific in places. If this is the first time you encounter the book, please don’t read the synopsis. It is not accurate, and nothing that is placed there actually happens in this book.

It is important to mention straight ahead, that this book contains sexual abuse, assault, anxiety, panic attacks, various fears and paranoia and explicit contents.

We have Candy Cane, a woman with a weird name, who keeps telling us her name is weird. I found her slightly annoying, to be honest. She is one of those people that want to not be known about certain thing (in this case, she doesn’t want people to notice her name), but at the same time she keeps talking about it, and telling us how much she hates her name. After a couple times, it gets unbearable.

Nevertheless, her father passes away, leaves her an apartment, but he also leaves the house to his young new wife (now widow) and her extremely thick son.

We spend about half of the book reading about their daily ongoings, and only a few things happen worth noticing, but not really quite related to the story. But even still, the writing is beautiful and witty, and kept me going, even though it was slow-paced at times. Even though nothing really happened for a while, I still enjoyed reading it. 

While Candy Cane and her step-mother Cherry Ann (I am not kidding, her name is Cherry Ann) don’t quite get along, but don’t argue either, they both go through a phase of grief and self-assessment in their lives. Candy Cane is an aspiring artist, but she has suffered a traumatic experience in the past and tries to cope with this on a daily basis.

On the other hand, we have Cherry Ann, who doesn’t really have a phase of grief. She wants men, and she does meet one, who doesn’t seem to be who she appears to be. He is willing to take her to an unpleasant journey and she is not even aware for it.

The very same man, seems to be out of this world, and keeps trying to find a missing object that belongs to him from a long time ago. He asks Candy Cane to do a portrait for him, while he dates Cherry Ann, but he wants to harm Candy as soon as he gets the chance.

Before we see any really meaningful action happening, the book is about to end. Very confusing and slow paced, with unnecessary characters and points of view – I have to mention that there were a few chapters where the house cat has her own point of view. I still don’t know how I feel about that, but I think I am slowly coping…

The ending though, was quite promising and left me wanting to read the next book, which I have on my shelves already. I will be reading it soon, and I really hope it is better than this one. I am a bit sad that I didn’t enjoy this one, but hopeful for the second book.

A huge thank you to the publisher, Book Publicity Services, who sent me a paperback copy of Blood Moon Part 1 by S. Yurvati in exchange for an honest review.  

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Books · Down The TBR Hole Tag

Down The TBR Hole #13

down the tbr hole book books blog diary of difference

Hello again. The first Down the TBR Hole post for this year – I am so excited to see what progress I will make in 2019.

Credit for this tag goes to Lost in a Story.

How it works:

❤ Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
❤ Order on ascending date added.
❤ Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
❤ Read the synopsis of the books.
❤ Decide: keep it or should it go

flower-divider-flower-dividers-clip-art-flowers-line-divider-stock-vector-illustration-of-elegant

Here’s the next patch:

down the tbr hole book books book review blog diary of difference downthetbrhole

Agent to the Stars by John Scalzy

I haven’t heard about this book, and I don’t know what it’s doing on my TBR honestly.

Verdict:  REMOVE ✖

Sandstorm (Sigma Force, #1) by James Rollins

I have heard mixed reviews about this one, and usually it’s either a 1 star or a 5 star. Not sure what to do with it.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

Strong Poison (Lord Peter Wimsey, #6) by Dorothy L. Sayers

It’s book number 6 in a series, and I haven’t read the previous one. But I have added the first book of the series on my TBR instead.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

Walk on Earth a Stranger(The Gold Seer Trilogy, #1) by Rae Carson

I have heard so many great things about this book, but some of my friends really trashed it, so I am not sure what to do. I will keep it for now, and hopefully will come back to it later in the new year.

Verdict: KEEP ☑  

Obsession (Talisman, #1) by Sofia Grey

Interesting plot, but I am not sure if this is the right genre for me at the moment.

Verdict:  REMOVE ✖

Love’s Prophecy (Prophecy, #1) by Brenda Dyer

A paranormal vampire fantasy book? GIVE IT TO ME! I haven’t heard about this book or author before, and I am not sure when/how this ended on my TBR, but the synopsis is so intriguing, I want to read this book so bad!

Verdict: KEEP ☑  

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

I have a thing for lighthouses. It’s true. And I still don’t know how I haven’t picked this book up yet.

Verdict: KEEP  ☑ 

We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver

A hard book to read, and I am not sure if I want to dive into it.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

Truthwitch (The Witchlands, #1) by Susan Dennard

With too many witch books right now, this one seems to have so many bad reviews. I will pass on for now.

Verdict:  ☑ REMOVE ✖

Currawong Creek by Jennifer Scoular

Um, who are you and how did you end up on my TBR?

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

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I managed to remove 7 this time. My TBR is looking happier already!

Let me know if you have read any of these, and if you want me to keep or remove any of these books from my list! I look forward to see what you think!

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Books · Down The TBR Hole Tag

Down The TBR Hole #11

down the tbr hole book books blog diary of difference

I am always excited when doing this, and a few days before Christmas, I am in the mood of just keeping all books, so I know this will be a tough one.

Credit for this tag goes to Lost in a Story.

How it works:

❤ Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
❤ Order on ascending date added.
❤ Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
❤ Read the synopsis of the books.
❤ Decide: keep it or should it go

flower-divider-flower-dividers-clip-art-flowers-line-divider-stock-vector-illustration-of-elegant

Here’s the next patch:

down the tbr hole book blog books love novel author writer diary of difference

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1) by Tahereh Mafi

I did a summer challenge this year, where I read books that my sister recommended. Some of the books were cringy, but some of them were hidden gems and I am so grateful to her for letting me find them. This is one of the recommendations, but I never got to read it. I am keeping it, as I am curious how it will turn out.

Verdict: KEEP  ☑ 

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft by Tess Sharpe

Look at that cover! Ever since I saw it, I wanted to have it! And I kept hearing amazing stories, and I love witches and witchcraft. Can’t let go of this one.

Verdict: KEEP  ☑ 

The Lonely Hearts Hotel by Heather O’Neill

Again, very hard choice, as I had this book on my TBR for a very long time, but every time I read that synopsis, I keep being reminded how much I need it.

Verdict: KEEP  ☑ 

The Love of Her Life by Harriet Evans

I used to love reading these types of books, but at the moment I am not in a mood for chick-lit.

Verdict:  REMOVE ✖

Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak

Markus Zusak? Yes, please! But this time, I will remove this book, because I already have a few other books from him on my list.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

The English Agent by Clare Harvey

After reading The Night Raid, I had to read another another book from Clare Harvey. Looking forward to read this one.

Verdict: KEEP ☑  

The Astrologer’s Daughter by Rebecca Lim

I am not sure why I have this book on my list. Seems alright, but not interesting enough to keep my attention.

Verdict:  REMOVE ✖

Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple #1) by Agatha Christie

I love Agatha Christie, and I loved the type of mystery she writes. This is the first book from the Miss Marple series, and I have to read it. AND SOON!

Verdict: KEEP  ☑ 

Come Sundown by Nora Roberts

The Obsession by Nora Roberts

I am putting both of the Nora Roberts books together, because I will remove them both. No particular reason, I actually love reading her novels. But she has so many, and I have a lot of them on my TBR, so I decided to only keep one at a time from her, starting from the ones I would want to read the most. And these two don’t seem that interesting at the moment.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

flower-divider-flower-dividers-clip-art-flowers-line-divider-stock-vector-illustration-of-elegant

My TBR has improved so much!!! I am so happy, and looking forward to listing all my books and reducing my TBR even more. I managed to remove 5 books this week.

Let me know if you have read any of these, and if you want me to keep or remove any of these books from my list! I look forward to see what you think!

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Books · Down The TBR Hole Tag

Down The TBR Hole #9

down the tbr hole book books blog diary of difference

Credit for this tag goes to Lost in a Story.

How it works:

❤ Go to your Goodreads to-read shelf.
❤ Order on ascending date added.
❤ Take the first 5 (or 10 if you’re feeling adventurous) books.
❤ Read the synopsis of the books.
❤ Decide: keep it or should it go

 

Here’s the next patch:

#9

The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin

I remember someone recommending this book to me at the start of the year, but it’s a book #6, so I am deleting it. I went back to book #1 to see if I might be intrigued, and I wasn’t…

Verdict:  REMOVE ✖

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

A classic, that I am always eager to read, and never do…

Verdict: KEEP  ☑ 

A Book About The Classic Avis Advertising Campaign Of The 60s by Henri Holmgren

This books stays, as I was given it, to help me understand marketing in the past.

Verdict: KEEP  ☑ 

Chasing Daisy by Paige Toon

I can see my younger self loving this book. My current self – naah.

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

The Secret of Happy Ever After by Lucy Dillon

So much romance, so much wow. What was going on in my life back then? Why is this in my TBR?

Verdict: REMOVE ✖

Heal Me: In Search of a Cure by Julia Buckley

I won this book as a giveaway, and as I have mentioned in some previous posts, I always keep my promise, if I get given a book, I read it, or try to.

Verdict: KEEP ☑ 

For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

A classic, that I wanted to read since I was a kid. I don’t know why, but it always reminds be of my dad, and I have no memory of my dad mentioning it to me. I asked him a few days ago, and he still has no clue. I need to read it.

Verdict: KEEP  ☑ 

The Little Shop of Happy Ever After by Jenny Colgan

More romance? Really? Secretly I am also afraid I might start wanting to read romance again, and I will regret removing all these books 🙂

Verdict:  REMOVE ✖

Maisie Dobbs (Maisie Dobbs, #1) by Jacqueline Winspear

I love stories about women that become detectives. I am keeping this one, even though I don’t know when I might get my hands on it.

Verdict: KEEP  ☑ 

Posted by John David Anderson

I love all books that involve post-it notes, letters, or postcards involved in them. It makes the reading seem so much interesting. I am hopeful this will be a great read!

Verdict: KEEP ☑ 

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My TBR is getting smaller, step by step. I managed to remove 4 this time, which is a great progress.

Let me know if you have read any of these, and if you want me to keep or remove any of these books from my list! I look forward to see what you think!

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