An interview with author Katy Hogan!

You will have heard me talk about Katy Hogan a lot over the past few weeks, since myself and my Mum were absolutely blown away by her debut novel "Out of the Darkness." I was eager to find out more about Katy, so was delighted when she said she would be happy to answer some questions from us. I was looking forward to Katy's answers so much that when her email popped up, I had to read them all aloud to Mum. Needless to say, we both got super excited about the information she gives us about her next book, it sounds amazing and we can't wait! Hope you enjoy this interview as much as we did! :)

1) Out of the darkness is your wonderful first book. Can you tell us more about what inspired you to write this type of story? 

I've always been fascinated by things such as tarot cards, ghost stories, the idea that there's more to life than meets the eye. When I was growing up, my mother often used to read tarot cards herself, and see 'spirit shapes' , so I guess it's no surprise that I have always been open-minded in that way.  I was inspired to write Out of the Darkness when I lost someone very dear to me, and subsequently started going to visit clairvoyants and see demonstrations of mediumship. I was amazed by some of the messages I saw passed on from 'the other side', to myself and other people. Around that time,  I also started to experience phenomena in my home, such as lights flashing, things moving and hearing voices. I had just made two new friends when all of this happened, and they proved to be incredibly supportive, coming with me to see the mediums and basically being there whenever I needed a shoulder to cry on. Surprisingly, they were even more supportive than other friends I'd known my whole life. These two new friends also had their own problems and sadness, and it was as if we were all meant to meet just at the time that we needed one another the most. It was one night, after the three of us had been to an evening of clairvoyance, that the idea for Out of the Darkness struck me. As we walked home arm in arm that night, I looked up at the stars in the sky and felt that there was a story there that I wanted to share. 

2) Our Mum has been going to Mediums for quite a few years now and as you know adored this story. She found your descriptions of the mediums absolutely spot on and wondered if you had to go to quite a few people for your research? What was that process like?

I'm so pleased that your mum enjoyed Out of the Darkness and, in particular, found the descriptions of mediums so accurate. I have certainly visited quite a few, where I live in Hertfordshire and also in London.  Initially I went to see mediums for comfort and reassurance -- it just so happened that that turned into research, without me even realising it. Once I'd started writing the book, I did consult one particular medium who shared with me his own experiences. So the research process itself wasn't hard work at all, it was something I found fascinating.

3) What is your favourite thing about Writing?

I have always written (I have worked as a journalist for women's magazines) and it's second nature to me. I love playing with words and communicating with the reader and, in this case, sharing something that is so close to my heart.  

4) What type of books are your favourite to read and do you have a favourite book?

 I love books about women, usually written by women; I love books that stir the emotions. My favourite novels are Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, After You'd Gone by Maggie O'Farrell and The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. I'm also a big fan of Mitch Albom, in particular The Five People You Meet in Heaven, which I could read again and again. 

5) Our Mum (she pops up quite a lot :p) absolutely loved your description of Brighton and long after finishing the book, kept saying she was still there in her head. Now we all want to visit there! Do you have some places you would recommend we visit on a future trip?

Yes, Brighton is a great place...The Lanes is the area I head to first. I just love the maze of twisting alleyways full of funky shops and restaurants. You can't beat a good old-fashioned pier, with arcades and candy floss  -- and a Tarot card-reader, too, of course -- so that's a must-visit. And I love to eat at Terre a Terrre, which is a great vegetarian restaurant. If you're lucky and the sun's shining, head for the Marina where it's nice to sit with a drink and watch the boats come and go. And keep an eye out for the remains of the old West  pier, which burnt down more than 10 years ago -- I find the sight of the black, skeleton still standing there in the ocean quite haunting.

6) Are they any places or countries that you haven't been to but would love to visit?

 I have travelled quite a lot and been lucky enough to see some amazing places, but I would really love to explore Scotland, which is much closer to home. I am really drawn by those remote,  far-flung islands off the North coast, with their stark beauty. I'd love to walk along those wind-swept beaches and snuggle in front of a log fire at night. On the way there, I would have to stop off at Loch Ness -- it's somewhere I've always wanted to go since I was a child. I think it's the magic of all of those stories and reported sightings of the Loch Ness monster that has stayed with me, and makes it such an enticing place to visit. 

7) Where is your favourite place/country that you have been to?

I love Hong Kong and lived there for a couple of years. It's a bustling harbour city with crowded streets, but what most people don't know is that much of the island is National Park and there are some fabulous beaches on the south side. It's a magical place, where you can take a boat out in the evening to one of the surrounding islands for dinner. 

8) Growing up with Italian Grandparents, we love to cook and bake. What are some of the things you like to do when you aren't writing?

I love to walk my dogs -- I have three cocker spaniels called Toby, Smudge and Alfie, they each have very different personalities and I love them to bits. We head off into the countryside and walk through the woods every morning. I also love going to the cinema. Where I live, we have a wonderful, renovated old cinema called The Odyssey . It's Art Deco style, and you can sit in a comfy chair enjoying a glass of wine and nibbles whilst watching a great movie on what is apparently the biggest 2D cinema screen in Europe. In fact, I'm going there tonight to see Brooklyn! 

9) We love anything and everything to do with food. What would you say your favourite food is? You can say a type or a specific dish, you could even say one sweet and one savory thing! :) 

I've recently become vegetarian, so I'm enjoying discovering all sorts of new recipes that I haven't cooked before.  I especially love spicy food and my current favourite is a recipe is for Cauliflower and Cashew curry by Nigella Lawson. It's delicious and so healthy! For dessert, it has to be Tiramisu -- a great Italian classic! I especially like it made with raspberries, although I don't know if your grandparents would approve! 

10) Finally, both us and our Mum were wondering, is there anything you can tell us, any little secrets about your second book, that we are eagerly awaiting? :) 

Book Number Two is just in its embryonic stages at the moment, but I can tell you that it is about the notion that we have all lived before, and that our past lives can have an impact on the way we live and the people we are today. Again, it will focus on the importance of friendship and family, and there will be some surprises in store, too...

Eeek and there you have it! Please go to the following links to find out more about Katy and her wonderful book "Out of the Darkness."

Amazon: Buy Out of the darkness HERE!

Love Kelly

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