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An Interview with Kim Fleet, author of Paternoster


Kim Fleet has an MA and a PhD in Anthropology, and worked with indigenous people in Australia for five years. This experience informed her murder mystery novels, Sacred Site and Featherfoot. Turning to crime closer to home, she is the author of the Eden Grey mysteries, a series of time-slip crime novels featuring determined PI Eden Grey. Kim has spoken about her writing at the Cheltenham Literary Festival and at Bristol Crime Fest. She lives in the UK with two bossy cats who assist the creative process by standing on the delete key.

Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?

When I was nine, my father gave me a book called Write Your Own Novel, and for the first time I realised that all the books I loved reading were all written by real people. With the confidence of a 9-year-old, I thought, ‘That could be me!’ and set about writing a novel about a group of children who travel back in time and uncover a plot to assassinate Elizabeth I and put Mary, Queen of Scots on the throne. I guess I was into the darker side of life even from an early age!

What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?

I worked as an anthropologist for a number of years, working with indigenous people in Australia to research land claims cases. It was fascinating to learn more about indigenous culture, and my ‘office’ was the vast open spaces and huge night skies of the Australian outback.

Tell us the story of your book’s title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?

I often struggle with titles for stories and novels, but this one was easy. In the book, the Paternoster Club is a shady eighteenth-century club based on the real-life Hell Fire Club.

How did it feel when you first saw your book cover? Or when you first held your book in your hands?

It was amazing! When I saw the cover, the fact that the book was going to be published suddenly became very real. I couldn’t believe that a professional designer had been commissioned to come up with a cover that reflected my book. Even now, when I see the cover, I have to pinch myself.

If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?

I always have a play list for whatever I’m writing. The playlist for Paternoster includes Dolly Parton’s ‘9 To 5,’ Billy Joel’s ‘She’s Always a Woman to Me,’ and Leona Lewis’s ‘Run.’

What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?

My main hope is that readers will have fun spending time in the company of feisty PI Eden Grey. The book is set in Cheltenham, and I hope that readers who live there or who know the town will enjoy recognising Cheltenham landmarks.

What was the most rewarding/meaningful part of publishing your book?

The most amazing thing that happened as a result of publishing the book was that I was invited to speak at the Cheltenham Literature Festival. I walked out onto the stage feeling very nervous, but when I sat down I saw my friend in the front row, nodding encouragement at me. That helped enormously, and after a few minutes my nerves had calmed down and I really enjoyed every minute. A fabulous experience that I will always treasure.

What new writing projects are you currently working on? Or, other projects that are not writing?

I’m currently working on a gothic mystery novel. Other non-writing projects include finishing a patchwork quilt I started sewing over 20 years ago and learning to speak another language.

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