Writer Of The Week: Katie Ashmore

Headshot of Katie Ashmore

Katie’s pocket Novel, “Man Overboard!” is out this Thursday. We caught up for a chat.

Tell us about your PN “Man Overboard!”

My pocket novel “Man Overboard!” is a cosy crime story and a romance, set in 1927. There are two key characters who narrate the story – Lady Florence Hardby (Flo) and her ex-husband, Mr Archibald Dansom (Archie). When Flo sets off to holiday at the Splendour Hotel with her cousin’s family, she is very much looking forward to a wonderful summer break. Little does she know that Archie has also been invited and that a series of murders will follow. The two of them are thrown together. Can they overcome their difficult past and team up to solve the crimes…?I won’t say any more as I don’t want to give spoilers, but I hope readers enjoy the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.

“Man Overboard!” is out on Thursday.

How long have you been writing fiction?

I attempted to write a novel once when I was a child, but I didn’t get very far. I have always been an avid reader and wanted to write too, but never found the time or confidence. I think it was about 2011-12 that, between them, my husband and my best friend finally persuaded me to take a couple of OU creative writing courses and to try my hand at writing more seriously. I believe I submitted my first attempt at a short story for the “Friend” in 2013. I finally met with success at the end of 2015-2016, when I was a runner-up in “The People’s Friend” serial writing competition and soon after had a short story accepted too. A very exciting time!


What’s your favourite genre to write?

I don’t really have a favourite genre; what I love is variety. I like to swap between a range of writing styles – fiction, non-fiction, short stories, serials, pocket novels, contemporary, historical and cosy crime, of course! I enjoy it all, but perhaps have a soft spot for historical cosy crime and for contemporary stories set abroad.


Why do you enjoy historical fiction?

I taught history for fifteen years, so I guess historical fiction finds me in my comfort zone. I also really enjoy the research involved and the new facts that you come across that can surprise you, for example, that sunglasses were one of the latest things in the 1920s. I really liked researching and writing the “Friend” serial, “No Ocean Too Wide”, because it was so interesting to find out about Home Children, a topic I’d known nothing about before, and an important one to be aware of. For some reason, I also think it can be easier to have a greater range of fun and diverse characters when a story is set in the past. Perhaps the time distance gives me permission to go a little more crazy?!


What are your long-term writing plans?

I’d like to keep writing stories and serials of all lengths for the “Friend” and articles for other magazines. I hope to branch out a little too. My latest project is to pen my first full-length novel. It is already planned and four chapters are done. This will also be a 1920s cosy crime, so watch this space . . .


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Tracey Steel

Having worked on a number of magazines over the years, Tracey has found her perfect place on The Friend as she’s obsessed with reading and never goes anywhere without a book! She reads all the PF stories with a mug of tea close by and usually a bit of strong cheese too!