Join Kate Atkinson to talk about STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG, our June Book of the Month, on Weds 22 June, 8-9pm

(136 Posts)

June's Book of the Month is the latest Number One bestseller from a much-requested Mumsnet favourite, Kate Atkinson. STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG is the fourth novel to feature former private detective Jackson Brodie. The story also introduces security chief Tracy Waterhouse, whose one moment of madness turns her steady world into a nightmare of fear and panic. As the plot dovetails and twists and weaves together, Jackson (who has spent a lifetime looking for missing people) now begins to learn those people don't always wish to be found.

Transworld are offering 50 copies of STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG to Mumsnetters. To bag your copy before they run out, email your name and address to k.green@transworld-publishers.co.uk, and put Mumsnet in the Subject bar.

We're delighted that Kate will be joining us on Wednesday 22 June, 8-9pm, so don't forget to join us to ask Kate about all her books, how she writes, her experiences of motherhood, what inspires her... See you then.

KateAtkinson Wed 22-Jun-11 20:38:53

Threadworm8

Is that Fountains Abbey on the cover of "Started Early ..."? It looks like it. That is a beautiful set of ruins, and funnily enough it is a great place to take your dog.

Yes it is fountains, I love Fountains Abbey. I visit often although Rievaulx and Jervaux come close joint second for me - beautiful

helhall Wed 22-Jun-11 20:40:31

Hi Kate. I keep trying to have a go at writing "for fun", I find it quite easy once I start to keep on writing for a while, but all my ideas run out of steam too quickly so I'm struggling to come up with a basic plot to keep me going - any tips?! From what you've said up-thread I'm guessing you tend to allow the plot to lead you, rather than planning it all out in advance?

KateAtkinson Wed 22-Jun-11 20:41:36

peggotty

Wow what a treat to have Kate Atkinson on here!! I would love to know which writers have inspired/influenced Kate. I've often thought that Angela carter may be an influence, especially in kate's earlier books? Would she agree with this?

I do love Carters The Bloody but came to it
Late after I'd writenHuman Croquet
my own"fairy tale" book. Otherwise Jane Austen always inspires.

ThatllDoPig Wed 22-Jun-11 20:41:42

Does your writing generally flow or is it frustrating? How disciplined are you with it?
Have you been on MN before?

Bells58 Wed 22-Jun-11 20:43:43

Hello Kate - I have literally just finished Started Early Took My Dog (5 minutes ago) googled you, got your website, saw you were on Mumsnet and here I am, a british ex pat, recently moved to New Jersey, USA to tell you immediately what an extraordinary book it is, (I love all your stuff) how it's the best yet, how, I couldn't put it down, how I wanted to cheer for Tracy and "KID" all the way through, how your themes of loss and hope are ever present and exquisitely told through such a gripping story and how that Emily Dickinson poem at the end had me in tears (I lost my 15 month old daughter 3 years ago to a cot death and that poem is my talisman of light) Keep up the outstanding work. Come to the USA soon please and in the meantime I am hoping one of my friends will send me the Case Histories DVD! Eleanor xxxx

lateforpickup Wed 22-Jun-11 20:44:37

Ha! I liked Reggie and I liked Jackson (I had thought of Jackson as older when I read the books but it worked). I didn't like Martin so much.

LeninGrad Wed 22-Jun-11 20:45:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KateAtkinson Wed 22-Jun-11 20:46:56

Threadworm8

Kate, I wondered if you ever think about Daniel Deronda when you are writing Jackson Brodie. Maybe that's daft, but they do remind me of one another. They both seem to draw other people's sadness and need onto themselves in a striking way.

Also: thanks for writing to many strong and warm lovely women. It is nice to see a crime drama on TV in which the female parts aren't all either corpses or female police officers battered into maleness by a male police force (Prime Suspect).

Even Jackson Brodie seems female -- very masculine, but with a whole woman inside him too. Do you think of him as having feminine qualities?

Daniel Deronda -how funny, I wasjusttalking about that book today not a conscious influence but I do love that book perhaps he crept in.
and yes you are right, I think Jackson has a female sensibility. Secretly
He is a woman...

KateAtkinson Wed 22-Jun-11 20:48:43

ThatllDoPig

Does your writing generally flow or is it frustrating? How disciplined are you with it?
Have you been on MN before?

No, I have never been on MN before. Sometimes it flows, sometimes it doesn't. But you have to do it anyway. Sometimes I surprise myself at how disciplined I am!

SixtyFootDoll Wed 22-Jun-11 20:49:49

Is there another Javkson Brodie novel bing written? I do hope so

honeyandsalt Wed 22-Jun-11 20:50:25

Hi Kate, I love your writing!

I was wondering if you feel that male writers, in general, are taken more seriously. And if you've ever been tempted to write under another name!

peggotty Wed 22-Jun-11 20:52:33

Yes, THe Bloody Chamber is one of Carters books that I can return to, along with Wise Children - I thought there was definately a whiff of magic realism in your Not THe End of the World short stories. ( I have a signed copy of that! <proud>)

KateAtkinson Wed 22-Jun-11 20:55:06

[quote BelleEnd]Hello Kate Atkinson! I am going to be fawning like a fool here, but every word is heartfelt...
You are my favourite writer of all time. I am an avid reader and I read many different styles and writers from many different periods, but I am yet to find a writer who gets to the root of people like you do. THANK YOU for writing... It really makes a marked difference in people's lives if they're reading a good book.

Hi

My question: Did you make a concious effort, after your first three novels, to change the direction and setting of your writing? Did you feel as if you couldn't win, in a way- Write another in the same style and you'd be branded a one-trick-pony, do something different and risk alienating the people who enjoyed your existing work?
I will admit to having been really disappointed when I heard you were writing about a copper... Your writing, however, won me over, and I love your books equally. smile

I think as a writer you have to write the book that's in your head, rather than what people want you to write I did consciously change my style and the book I am working on at the moment is very different from the Jackson Brodie books - again a conscious change of style for me. Mainlybecause I get bored!

Just to say there's still time for more questions: Kate has v kindly said she'll carry on till 9.15 to make up for our delayed start...

And if there is time, just another quick reminder that there are a few questions further up the board that would love to be answered..

KateAtkinson Wed 22-Jun-11 20:59:29

helhall

Hi Kate. I keep trying to have a go at writing "for fun", I find it quite easy once I start to keep on writing for a while, but all my ideas run out of steam too quickly so I'm struggling to come up with a basic plot to keep me going - any tips?! From what you've said up-thread I'm guessing you tend to allow the plot to lead you, rather than planning it all out in advance?

Hi! I took a long time to start writing - everything I did to begin with was practice pieces I didn't just jump straight in there. I would alwaysrecommend to start by writing stories - not so much plot!

KateAtkinson Wed 22-Jun-11 21:01:04

SixtyFootDoll

Is there another Javkson Brodie novel bing written? I do hope so

Not at the moment. I am writing something else, but i am sure I will return to him.

Piccalilli2 Wed 22-Jun-11 21:01:08

Just wanted to say that I love, love, love your books, I'm totally in love with Jackson Brodie, and I think it is marvellous that there are so many wonderful, strong female characters in your books.

Q: When will there be good news seemed to me on reading and definitely in the tv adaptation to be much darker and less humorous than the other 3. Were you getting a little bored of being stuck in genre?

KateAtkinson Wed 22-Jun-11 21:02:31

Piccalilli2

Just wanted to say that I love, love, love your books, I'm totally in love with Jackson Brodie, and I think it is marvellous that there are so many wonderful, strong female characters in your books.

Q: When will there be good news seemed to me on reading and definitely in the tv adaptation to be much darker and less humorous than the other 3. Were you getting a little bored of being stuck in genre?

Yes I tthink it is the darkest of the four. I think that was intentional.

KateAtkinson Wed 22-Jun-11 21:03:31

ThatllDoPig

Does your writing generally flow or is it frustrating? How disciplined are you with it?
Have you been on MN before?

Disciplined? Sometimes

peggotty Wed 22-Jun-11 21:04:02

Can you give us a little hint about what the book you are currently writing is like (I'm guessing you might not want to but I have to ask!) Or even when it may be finished?

Topcat11 Wed 22-Jun-11 21:05:57

Will Started early, Took My Dog be on TV sometime?

BelleEnd Wed 22-Jun-11 21:08:34

OMG KATE ATKINSON answered my question! How bloody brilliant is that! grin grin grin

KateAtkinson Wed 22-Jun-11 21:09:22

TillyBookClub

Evening everyone

I'm thrilled to introduce our immensely talented June Author of the Month, Kate Atkinson. Ever since Bookclub first started, three years ago, armies of Mumsnetters have clamoured for a webchat with Kate, as well as recommending and raving about her consistently excellent novels.

So without further ado (and with much, much pleasure)...

Kate, firstly, thank you very much indeed to taking the time to join us. And congratulations on another bestseller, and on such a gripping, addictive series of books. Perhaps we could kick off with the advance questions from further up the thread? And then we'll aim to get through as many as possible over the next hour.

I'd also like to add two questions:

Which childhood book most inspired you?

What would be the first piece of advice you would give anyone attempting to write fiction?

Alice" s Adventures in Wonderland and Just William.

Read everything ever written!

KateAtkinson Wed 22-Jun-11 21:10:14

Topcat11

Will Started early, Took My Dog be on TV sometime?

Topcat11

Will Started early, Took My Dog be on TV sometime?

If we go to second series...

Kate, if we've got time, would love answer to this one:

CJ Cregg: My question is a bit nerdy. Do you think Behind the Scenes is filmable? I heard someone was doing an adaptation but then nothing came of it, though that information might be out of date. I think it works brilliantly as a novel, and that the novel is the perfect medium for that story, its many layers and distinctive voice. Would you like to see it on screen?

and to my two (sorry, elbowing in there, but we're trying to research best children's books recommended by authors and also a creative writing tips-list...)

What childhood book most inspired you

What woudl be your first bit of advice to anyoen attempting to write fiction?

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