Kate Kerrigan is my favourite author on the planet. I’m pretty damn vocal in my support of local talent, I’m sure by now most of you would have heard me carry on like a banshee about authors like Lily Malone and Jenn J McLeod to name a couple! But for me, Kate is the replacement for that empty space in my heart that my life-long favourite, Maeve Binchy, left when she passed away. With every book Kate writes, she reminds me more and more of Maeve. Thank you universe!!
I devour Kate’s books (two of them feature on this year's ultimate holiday reading guide) but IT WAS ONLY EVER YOU takes the cake. It is stunning. Just stunning.
There’s a story to how I met and befriended Kate, thanks to a reader of mine who kept nagging me to read her books (I hadn’t heard of Kate before then) but this reader, Joanna, persisted and then persisted some more until I relented and downloaded the book she insisted I needed to read - RECIPES FOR A PERFECT MARRIAGE.
That book rocked my world so I did what any self-respecting reader does, and totally stalked Kate -luckily she didn’t report me to Interpol! Kate then connected me with her editor who by some divine intervention was also Maeve Binchy’s lifelong editor, the no-words-to-describe-how-star-struck-I-am-by-her Rosie de Courcy. Rosie didn’t just publish hits like CIRCLE OF FRIENDS and TARA ROAD, but also published THE THORN BIRDS by Colleen McCullough. This past year Rosie has become a very dear and trusted friend and advisor to me and also happened to provide an amazing quote for LOVE AT FIRST FLIGHT that I still die over every time I read it! 'I thought this was terrific - passionate, sexy and wise, with a continual ebb and flow of emotion and utterly persuasive characters. I loved it.’ I can’t describe to you all just how much I adore Rosie and it’s all because the wonderful Kate.
Kate and Rosie make a formidable team. I can’t wait to see what they bring the world next and I know it will be amazing! Next month on my Facebook page, you’ll have the chance to win a personally signed copy of IT WAS ONLY EVERY YOU that Kate will send from Ireland. Don’t miss out! In the meantime, here’s all you need to know about the magical brilliant IT WAS ONLY EVER YOU by the BEST author in the whole wide universe to infinity and beyond, the incredible Kate Kerrigan. Enjoy!
Set, like Maeve Binchy's early bestsellers, in late 1950s Ireland and New York, this is the story of three women and the charismatic man with whom their lives are interwoven.
Patrick Murphy has charm to burn and a singing voice to die for. Many people will recognise his talent. Many women will love him. Rose, the sweetheart he leaves behind in Ireland, can never forget him and will move heaven and earth to find him again, long after he has married another woman. Ava, the heiress with no self-confidence except on the dance floor, falls under his spell. And tough Sheila Klein, orphaned by the Holocaust and hungry for success as a music manager, she will be ruthless in her determination to unlock his extraordinary star quality.
But in the end, Patrick Murphy's heart belongs to only one of them. Which one will it be?
Kate Kerrigan is my favourite author in the world. She could write a shopping list and I’d trip over myself in my rush to run out and buy it. So my review isn’t exactly objective. But let me say this – if you loved Maeve Binchy and you loved the wise sound of her voice, the emotional tug of her heart-centred stories, her gorgeous setting of small town Ireland in the late fifties, her unpredictability in plot, her original, completely believable and magnetic characters, her unsentimental way of writing that made you cry bucket-loads none-the-less – then make sure you read IT WAS ONLY EVER YOU.
The good Lord has brought lovers of Maeve Binchy a fresh new voice with unique storylines and if you loved Maeve, then I guarantee you will adore her just as much. We have been delivered Kate Kerrigan to soothe our grieving hearts. Long may she write.
IT WAS ONLY EVER YOU is triumphant and utterly heart breaking all at once. If I started telling you how much I loved Rose and Patrick and Ava, it would lead to a rambling essay. So instead of a review, I’ll tell you that as an author of commercial character-driven fiction myself, and as a reader who reads at least a book a week, this was the book of the year for me. Hands down the book of the year. Bravo!
Kate began her career as an editor and journalist, editing many of Britain's most successful young women's magazines including more! and Just Seventeen magazine under her birth name Morag Prunty, before returning to her native Ireland in the 1990's. She writes a weekly column in the Irish Mail about her life in Killala, County Mayo - and contributes regularly to the RTE radio program Sunday Miscellany.
You can connect with Kate on her website http://www.katekerrigan.ie/ and she’s also on Facebook and Twitter.
An interview with Kate Kerrigan:
Why do you write?
I write because I had to – because I am compelled. Whether I get paid or not - I have always written and I always will. I am, I have eventually come to believe, what is called born writer. I prefer writing to talking. I write a weekly newspaper column here in Ireland (online at www.evoke.ie) which is a diary of my life in the small village of Killala on the West Coast. Sometimes, if my husband wants to know what is happening in our marriage he has a better chance of asking one of my readers than finding out himself!
Do you write every day?
Every single day. Even weekends. If one day goes by and I have not written something down, I feel weird.
What is the best piece of writing advice you have received?
Never give up. Giving up is much easier than writing. Write, even when you don’t feel like it. I rarely actually feel like writing. I just do it because it’s a way of life for me now. What else would I be doing?
Tell us something interesting about where you live.
I live in a small village where everybody knows everybody else's business – and I absolutely love it. Two weeks after I moved into our house, the lady from the local boutique rang me up and said, ‘I'm sorry for interrupting your tea, only, I have a sale on in underwear at the moment and your cleaning lady was in earlier and told me I have one left in your size would you like me to put it aside for you.’ Most people will be absolutely horrified at the intrusion of privacy but I absolutely loved it. Most writers love knowing everybody else's business - but my life is an open book too.
Describe your dream office.
I have a dream office in my home – but I rarely use it.
Currently, I have three places that I work in, and I alternate between them. The first is a really lovely little book lined office the front of my house that looks out on the sea. It’s got an old roll top desk and is cluttered and cosy, so it looks like the perfect lady novelists den, but in actual fact it’s not that comfortable to work in. The second place is a small cottage/chalet in my mother’s back garden. My grandfather built it for me, as his first grandchild, to play. Mostly it’s full of my mother’s junk, but there’s a small back room with beautiful light looking out onto my mother’s laburnum tree. I always do my best creative work there. My husband is an artist and has given me a corner of his studio, a small converted boathouse at the front of our house. I move between these three places as it’s important for me not to get stale or bored with where I’m working. I try to stick to a working day that ties in with my children’s school hours, but it’s not always easy. I love going away on retreats for a few days at a time where I have the freedom to write 24-hours if I feel like. But being a mother the pesky kids have to come first!
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Still living in where I am, still writing every day, but with my sons more grown-up, hopefully with a bit more time on my hands. Writing ‘success’ in terms of sales or money means less to me the older I get. I am not interested in travelling as much as I was, and I meet all my readers through social media anyway. All I want from life is enough time to get the words down, and enough money to feed me and the family while I am doing it. In my fifties, I have lost so many friends over the last few years, all I worry about is running out of time to write all the books I have in me! Being able to write for a living is a privilege not available to everybody – so I try to make the most of it. I try not to want more and always stay grateful for being able to do my dream job.