Today I’m very happy to be able to share an interview that I recently did with Kayte Nunn, author of Rose’s Vintage. Today is publication day for Rose’s Vintage so I’d like to wish Kayte a very happy publication day and wish her lots of luck with the book! To celebrate publication day, Kayte’s publisher have very kindly offered three ebook copies of Rose’s Vintage for me to give away so please read to the end of this post and be sure to enter!
Please tell my readers a little bit about yourself.
I’m a forty-something Englishwoman who has lived in Australia for the past 20 years. I’m a wife, mother and writer, not necessarily in that order. Love to bake, hate to clean.
How did you first come to be a writer?
Without really realising it, I’ve written most of my life – my aunt recently told me that when I was quite little and she was visiting, I was writing short stories. I wrote terrible poetry and angst-ridden diaries when I was a teenager, and then did a degree in English and Publishing because I loved books and writing so much. I ended up working in magazines because I wanted to write features, and have done that for the past 15 or so years, as both a writer and editor. Despite a secret dream to be a novelist I never had the confidence in my ability to do so – I thought it was something other people did, not me.
But, about three years ago, a break between freelance projects and a case of the ‘now or nevers’ saw me knuckle down and try to write fiction. I started with a few short stories and sent them off to a couple of competitions and made the shortlists, and I found that I loved the way writing made me feel.
What is your book about?
It’s the story of Rose, a young English chef, who takes a job as an au pair in an Australian wine region, also agreeing to spy on her boss for her brother. When she arrives there in the middle of winter, she finds that it’s far from the lush, romantic vineyard setting she’d imagined, her new boss is largely absent and leaves her to her own devices. All she wants to do is find out what she needs to for her brother and then get out of there and go somewhere warmer… of course, she doesn’t leave straight away…
Where do you get your inspiration from?
The inspiration for Rose’s Vintage came as I was sitting in a café in Bondi on a grey winter’s day. I began to imagine what it would be like to arrive in Australia and find that it was nothing like you’d imagined. Having worked as editor of Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine for quite a few years I had met so many wonderful winemakers, visited some beautiful wine regions and loved the close-knit communities that exist in there. It seemed obvious to set the book in a fictional wine region that reflected those qualities.
What is your writing routine?
I wish I had one! I’ve two terrifyingly sporty girls and so I spend a lot of time ferrying them around, lugging my laptop with me to sports practice, swim sessions… luckily after years in a busy magazine office, I can write no matter what the noise going on around me. On an ideal day, I drop them at school, go for a walk or a run, then sit down at home and write from about 10.30-3pm before shooting off to pick my youngest daughter up from school. Funnily enough, the hour between 2- and 3pm is my most productive!
What has your journey to publication been like?
It took me about a year to write Rose’s Vintage (I was also working as a freelance non-fiction writer and editor). When I finished, I began querying agents and publishers. Several asked for the complete mss. I got my fair share of rejections, but then my current agent rang me and asked for a month to read it exclusively. At the end of the month, she rang and we had a long chat about what needed to change, I took notes and then went away and spent a couple of months on revisions. I sent it back to her and she was happy with what I’d done and began sending it to publishers who she thought likely to be interested. Several replied saying it appealed to them but that it was too similar to other authors already in their stable. One publisher really liked it but asked for quite substantial revisions, which I did, but then Black Inc, which had also seen a copy of this revised mss. loved it and made an offer for it, and also for a second book with the same setting that I was by this time three-quarters of the way through.
What’s your favourite book that you’ve read this year?
Oh gosh, that’s hard – there are some terrific books out at the moment and I’ve been reading up a storm! Favel Parrett’s Past the Shallows is heart-breaking and beautifully lyrical; The Light Between Oceans by ML Steadman made me sob; Vanessa Diffenbaugh’s The Language of Flowers was especially memorable.
What are you reading at the moment?
The Observations by Jane Harris. It’s a historical novel set in 1863. I’m now working on a historical novel of my own, part of which is set in the 1880s, so I’m reading other books set at a similar time, both for research and enjoyment.
Is there a question that you wish an interviewer would ask that you’ve never been asked? What’s your answer to that question?
Do you like to read your own work once it’s in book form?
Absolutely not! When I received my author’s copies of Rose’s Vintage I opened one up and felt quite ill – it was all too real and there is so much of me on those pages that my little introverted soul was terrified!
If you were to be stranded on a desert island, which three things would you want to have with you and why?
A copy of Anne of Green Gables – my favourite book and still a comfort read.
A laptop that never ran out of charge so I could write.
Enough food – you can’t write on an empty stomach!
How can people connect with you on social media?
Facebook: Kayte Nunn
Goodreads: Rose’s Vintage
About the Author:
Kayte Nunn is a freelance book, magazine and web editor and writer with more than 20 years’ publishing experience and is the former editor of Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine. She is also a mother to two girls and when not writing, reading or ferrying her daughters around she can be found in the kitchen, procrasti-baking.
Rose’s Vintage is her first novel.
About the book:
British blow-in, Rose Bennett, is heartbroken, overweight, irritable and a long way from home. She isn’t sure what exactly she’s doing at Kalkari Wines in the Australian Shingle Valley – it’s the middle of winter and far from the lush, romantic vineyard setting she’d been expecting.
Her brother thinks she’s spying for him, her bad-tempered new boss thinks she’s the au pair and the nanny can’t wait for her to clean the place up.
Discovering pagan bonfire ceremonies, bizarre winemaking practices and a valley full of eccentric locals, Rose just wishes she’d ended up somewhere a bit warmer.
But as the weather improves, the valley reveals its beauty, and Rose starts to fall in love: with the valley, the wines, the two children she’s helping to look after, and one of the men there.
When her boss’s estranged wife returns and her brother descends, wanting answers, Rose is torn between staying put or cutting her losses.
Kayte Nunn’s publisher BlackIncBooks has very kindly offered me three ebook copies of Rose’s Vintage to give away! So please click on the link below to be taken to the giveaway page for your chance to win one of the three copies: