Friday, 23 January 2015

A guest post by Katie Stephens

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Some people have asked me why I chose to set my second book Catching Lightning in Kenya.  Kenya has been getting some really bad press recently and is unfortunately not going through the best of times.  This is so sad for such an amazing country.  Kenya will always be special to me as I not only had an amazing holiday there in 2001, but it is also where I my husband proposed to me.  As a writer of contemporary romance I would like to make it clear that my life is not one great romantic fairy tale.  My husband was lucky.  He had all the ingredients to a make the proposal amazingly romantic supplied to him on a plate.  We were in a 5 Star hotel, right on the white sands of the India Ocean coast, palm trees, moonlight… you get the picture.  And I am sure it is the picture that most people summon up in their mind when I tell them we got engaged in Mombasa.  When I am writing that is the sort of proposal I love to write – moonlit strolls along the beach, gentle lapping waves, palm trees swaying in the soft breeze, I could even be tempted to throw in some fireworks for good measure.  But for me, unfortunately, my husband doesn’t write romantic fiction (he doesn’t even read it for inspiration!)  No for me my proposal happened in the bath, just before we were due to go to dinner with the 30 other people we were traveling with on the cricket tour around Kenya! (Even I would struggle to set a romantic story on a cricket tour). No white sand, no gentle waves, not even any swaying palms.  In his defence, it did mean that within an hour of the proposal we were celebrating with 30 friends and it was still incredibly memorable (I still have the picture of the bath that I was in when he proposed!)

So this is why Kenya is special to me.  The places I saw, the people I met and the experiences I had all gave me some great material and the inspiration for Catching Lightning, especially the visit to an orphanage on which the centre that Mel’s parents run in the book is based.    

I hope people enjoy this book and that it gives them that escape time we all need.  And don’t worry there is no cricket in it.

About the book

You never know where or when lightning will strike but when it happens on a trip back to Kenya to bury your parents you know the timing isn't great. 
Mel has spent the past 14 years resenting her parents for abandoning her at a boarding school in England while they went back to Kenya, a country she hates, to run an orphanage and school for their charity. A tragic accident forces her to return to Kenya for her parents' funeral but meeting the gorgeous, English educated Sam was not part of the plan.   Finding her mother's diaries reveals a lot of unanswered questions and the discovery of a detailed itinerary of a trip round Kenya that her parents dreamed of making with her makes Mel realise that maybe she had things wrong.   Will taking the trip make her fall in love with the man, the country, neither or both?
About the author
Born and brought up in the Surrey Hills near Guildford, Katie now lives in Camberley with her husband Will and their two young daughters. 
Katie's love of creative writing started at school and as well as writing short stories she found great enjoyment in writing poetry. While primarily writing for friends and family, she has had two poems published in anthologies plus a number of others in event programmes and in-house publications. 
In 2008 Katie decided it was time to take her writing up a level and started on a Creative Writing course. During the course she found not only the inspiration but also the confidence to take her writing seriously. 
Her first completed book was born from a piece of homework on her course. She spends any spare time she can find sat at her computer and writing and sees this as her escape time. 
Katie has worked in PR for almost 20 years. Since 2003 Katie has worked in-house for The AA (the motoring one rather than the alcoholics). Working in PR Katie is able to mix her love of writing and creativity with her career.


Twitter @KatieStephensGB

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