As a qualified journalist with articles published in Company Magazine and The Daily Star, Katy Colins crossed sides to work in Public Relations before selling all she owned to backpack solo around South East Asia and finally put her thoughts into words, writing as she travelled. This experience inspired her début novel Destination Thailand, the first in the Lonely Hearts Travel Club series which is out now.
When she is not writing about romance, travel and adventure, she loves travelling, catching up with family and friends and convincing herself that her Mr Kipling cake addiction isn’t out of control – just yet.
1. Why did you want to become a writer?
Once I discovered books, libraries and the feeling of being able to escape into other people’s worlds through words, I wanted to be a part of it. I remember my dad reading The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe to me when I was younger and feeling amazed that this had all come from one person’s imagination. I wanted to see if I could transport readers to places through my writing too!
2. What's the toughest part of the writing process for you?
Staring at a blank screen and thinking of the thousands of words I need to summon to fill the pages with! I’m like a kid on a bicycle with stabilisers on, once I’ve got going and had that first push I’m usually fine but the very first page of a brand new novel still fills me with anticipation at the exciting but slightly daunting task in hand.
3. What's the most enjoyable part of writing?
Argh there are so many! I love seeing characters’ lives unfold on the page before me, I love typing the end - feeling both amazed and proud that I’ve managed to finish another novel, and I love hearing from readers who have read my work and enjoyed it. That feeling will never ever get old.
4. Out of all the amazing books out there, which book do you wish you had written and why?
I absolutely adored both Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healey and The Shock of the Fall by Nathan Filer, because the protagonists were so unique and had such strong voices. They were the sort of books that stayed in your head for ages afterwards.
5. If you could only save one of your characters from fictional calamity, which would you pick and why?
My main female character, Georgia Green is pretty certain to end up in silly situations that she would need saving from, but then she is also pretty skilled at brushing herself off and carrying on so probably wouldn’t need my help!
6. If you could spend the day with your favourite literary character (not from your books), who would you spend it with and what would you do?
It has to be Jessica Beam, from A Vintage Guide To Love And Romance by Kirsty Greenwood, I could see us both drinking pear cider in a beer garden somewhere. They’re not literary characters, but I would also love to hang out with both Cheryl Strayed and Elizabeth Gilbert as Eat, Pray, Love and Wild are two books that really struck a chord with me. I imagine us wandering down an exotic beach discussing creativity, break ups and books!
7. What can we expect next from you?
On 2nd June, my second novel and the next book in the Lonely Hearts Travel Club series, Destination India comes out! I’m so excited to share the next step in Georgia’s travel journey as she jets off to the land of Bollywood and bhajis as she tries to put into practice all she’s learnt in Destination Thailand. I had so much fun writing this novel and reminiscing over the time I spent in India, so I hope readers will enjoy visiting this fascinating country without leaving their house!
8. Is there any particular writing advice you wish you'd been given at the start of your writing career? If so, what is it? If not, what advice would you give to someone starting out?
The best advice I can give is to get your head down and get the story out. It’s no good spending months or even years thinking about it and creating the perfect plot in your head, if that’s the only place it stays!
9. Tell us what a typical writing day involves for you.
I wish I had a typical writing day but at the moment I don’t have any sort of routine! I am so lucky that I get to travel and share my adventures on my blog, but it does mean that I could be writing, editing or plotting my books anywhere in the world from my trusty netbook! My parents keep asking when I’m going to stay in one place long enough to properly unpack but the problem is my feet are just too itchy!
10. Finally, what are you reading at the moment?
Once my edits are done for the third novel in my series, Destination Chile, out 22nd September, I will be getting stuck into my ever growing TBR pile. Top of my list is My Map of You by Isabelle Broom, How To (Find) Your First Husband by Rosie Blake and the Lonely Planet travel guide to New York – I’m desperate to get to the big apple before the end of the year, so a little inspiration can’t hurt, can it?
Instead of slipping on her something borrowed and tripping up the aisle to wedded bliss, Georgia spends her big day wondering where it all went wrong.
Forced to make a bucket list of her new life goals by best friend Marie, it’s not long before travel- virgin Georgia’s packing her bags for a long-haul trip to Thailand.
Yet, Georgia’s big adventure doesn’t seem to be going to plan. From strange sights, smells and falling for every rookie traveller scam in the book, Georgia has never felt more alone.
But the good thing about falling apart is that you can put yourself back together any way you please. And new Georgia might just be someone she can finally be proud of…