Episode 34 - Kate Hamer - Girl in a Red Coat: Part 1


If Kate Hamer's debut novel The Girl in the Red Coat sounds familiar, in part because it joins a horde of books with the word 'Girl' in the title, then readers might be pleasantly surprised by the strange story that awaits. By turns Gothic and emotional, funny and heard-breaking, supernatural and realistic, it tells the story of a kidnapped girl and a grieving mother that takes a number of strange turns.

When I met Kate at her London publisher, Faber and Faber, we began by talking about the (for her) strange, new prospect of discussing her first work of fiction. We then moved onto:

  • her creative writing course at Aberystwyth
  • answering personal questions
  • reading work-in-progress aloud
  • Kate described her novel
  • 21st century fairytales
  • where did the idea for the novel come from (I had to ask it!)
  • writing and working through universal fears
  • the cultural power of red coats
  • the title of the novel
  • using the word 'girl' in the title
  • the character of the 'girl', Carmel
  • to research or not to research
  • the unknowableness of children and parents
  • rural childhoods
  • divorce
  • the problem of spoilers

Kate Hamer's profile at Faber & Faber is: here.

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