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Hello, I’m Kate Mallinder

So you might have gathered by now that I’m a children’s writer. My debut novel for teens, Summer of No Regrets, is coming out in May. It’s feel-good and about friendship and finding your place in the world.

I also write short stories, flash fiction and short plays, although these tend to be for adults. Several of my short scripts have been made into films.

 
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This is the cover for my book and I just LOVE it. It was designed by Anne Glenn, a designer who has created lots of the stunning covers for Firefly Press. I love it because it tells you what sort of story is inside without using any words - and that’s really clever.

However, when I was writing the story, I didn’t know what type of story it would turn out to be. It was tricky to write because the four different stories are woven together. Luckily I was desperate to know how their stories would end and that kept me writing.

Around the time I was writing it, I was spending a lot of time thinking about the ideas of regret, living outside of my comfort zone and trying new things, and these ideas percolated into the story. I’m not entirely sure how that works - brains are funny that way. I planned a bit, then wrote a bit, then planned a bit more. I worked really hard at getting the ‘voices’ right. That means that you should be able to tell which girl is speaking without me having to tell you.

 
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Cats make the best writing partners

This was my writing buddy when I wrote Summer of No Regrets. His name was Reggie and he was super-grumpy. This is him telling me to stop working and tickle his ears straight away! If you look carefully, he’s sitting on Summer of No Regrets edits.

We now have two kittens called Alan and Dot, and it’s bedlam at our house. They often use my desk as a playground and love playing with my pencil while I’m trying to write!

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I made a ‘no regrets’ pledge

I decided that I was going to try living my life with no regrets. I’d already started to do this but I was going to take it further. I wanted to do a few things that I was scared of, or things that made me nervous but I wished didn’t. It started with trying surfing, something I’d assumed I’d be no good at. And I was right BUT I had loads of fun trying and I did get better. One really big thing for me was spiders - I was properly scared of them. But, with a bit of work I finally got to being able to stroke a tarantula, something I NEVER thought I’d do. I was so nervous beforehand, but felt amazing after! Definitely no regrets doing that!

I’ve also gone back to school! I’m studying for a Masters in writing for young people at the Bath Spa university. I didn’t think I could find the time, but then I realised that I’d really regret it if I didn’t try, so I’ve moved things around and fitted it in. It’s not easy, and I’m having to work really hard at it but I’m enjoying every minute - I’m doing something I love and that’s a great feeling.

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Conquering my fear of heights!

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This was actually quite fun!

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More heights!

 

One of the scariest things I’ve ever done, however, is write. And I know that sounds daft - how dangerous can sitting at a laptop actually be?! But learning to be honest with my words, and say what I really feel has taken me a long time to master. If you want to be a writer, or are interested in reading more about my writing journey, there’s a whole blog stuffed full of advice and thoughts. Check it out here: