Kate Allen, author of Fear of Flying is on a virtual book tour to promote the release of her debut novel and I am honoured she chose this blog as one of her stops.
I loved this book, which you can read more about in my review of here.
As an extra special treat we have a special Q&A session with the author, which you can read below.
Liz: Hi Kate, welcome to Lizzie’s Little Book Nook, it’s a pleasure to have you here to promote your debut novel, Fear of Flying, which comes out next week. For all the readers out there, tell us how did you come up with the concept for this book?
Kate: After years of loving flying and traveling, I developed a fear of flying recently. I became really frustrated that I had this sudden phobia and I did a lot of research about how to overcome it. In the year before the pandemic, I forced myself to take every travel opportunity I got and it helped me manage my fear. And then in 2020 when traveling came to a screeching halt, I started to really miss flying despite all the anxiety it gives me. Fear of Flying is my love letter to travel and overcoming fears.
Liz: And it is a wonderful love letter. So, how did you get into writing? Was it something you always wanted to do?
Kate: Yes, I have always, undeniably wanted to be a writer! I wrote my first stories when I was seven and just never stopped. Fun fact: I won a Reading Rainbow writing competition when I was really young!
My parents (and grandparents on both sides) are creatives at heart and instilled a love of writing and reading in me from a young age. Coming out with my debut novel is a dream come true!
Liz: We can only imagine, how great it must feel. So, when it comes to writing, do you have a process? Do you plan a lot in advance?
Kate: In the past, I tried to force myself to be a plotter, but I’m definitely more of a discovery writer! I’ve decided to lean into it and now I follow the story first and then take a step back to evaluate the plan as needed.
If I try anything stricter than that it just kills my creativity for some reason. I really admire the writers who come up with these detailed and complicated character and story charts. It’s so impressive!
Liz: Completely agree, I prefer writing and seeing what comes out most of the time. So, going back to your debut novel, your main character has a fear of flying and you said you recently developed said fear. So, do you use any life experiences to inspire your writing or is it all purely fictional?
Kate: This novel isn’t really based on anything in my life. Broadly, however, the themes are inspired by actual issues I’ve faced. I was confronted with the concept of death and illness at a very young age and as a result, it’s always been this lingering dread that I’ve carried with me. To some degree it bothers all of us, I’m sure, but I think fear like this can really take over and drive decisions if we’re not careful. I wanted to take that idea and explore it through Liv’s character.
Also, I’ve visited everywhere mentioned in the book and while the occurrences in the book are purely fictional, many of the places are real or heavily inspired by real places!
Liz: Great, so to an all important question we all want to know the answer to… What are you currently reading?
Kate: I just finished I’m Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagan (and absolutely loved it!) and next on my list is Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. Both of these books deal with a lot of heavy topics in a really witty and compelling way.
Liz: I personally loved Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine so I hope you enjoy it. As for the other 2 I will definitely be looking these up. Ok, so now onto a few fun questions for your fans to get to know a bit more about you….If you were stuck on a desert island and could only take 3 items with you, what would they be and why?
Kate: Oooo…I would bring a notebook–the biggest one I could find, a jumbo pack of cheap ballpoint pens, and sunscreen. The first two may not be the most practical, but I’ve got to entertain myself somehow!
Liz: Great choices, and finally, if you could collaborate with any writer, dead or alive, who would it be, and why?
Kate: Oh boy! As far as alive authors, I would be beyond thrilled to work with any of the writers mentioned earlier or countless others that I’ve interacted with.
But, ultimately, it would be amazing to meet and collaborate with Jane Austen! She was so witty and had such great insights into society. I think she’d have a lot of interesting takes on what’s going on today. Oh, the stories we could write together!
Liz: It would be amazing to collaborate to Jane Austen, 100% agree with you there. Thank you so much for stopping by here on your book tour, Kate and best of luck with your debut novel.
Fear of Flying is out on 30th March, but you can pre-order now from most large book retailers.