When Kate Sterritt is not busy juggling soccer trainings, play dates and volunteering at her kids' school, she makes time to write the types of novels she enjoys reading. Sterritt does not believe in cookie-cutter characters, but creates protagonists that feel real to her. As our Author of the Day, Sterrit talks about her book, Collision, reveals how she worked with an ex-cage fighter to create realistic fighting scenes and how she was inspired by a large, stone farmhouse.
Please give us a short introduction to what Collision is about.
Collision is Book 1 of The Fight for Life Duet. It’s about Juliette Salinger struggling to keep her socialite parents happy by trying to be everything they want her to be, but having a hidden desire to rebel through boxing, race car driving and attending illegal cage fights. Her two worlds collide with the smoking hot fighter Leo Ashlar and life will never be the same for either of them. Their roller coaster ride continues in the sequel, “Impact.”
Tell us more about the title - why did you call the book "Collision"?
The title “Collision” came early on in writing the book. It just felt right to me. It’s not just about Leo and Juliette’s worlds colliding. It’s also referring to the collision of bodies in the cage fights and the boxing ring.
What inspired you to write this book?
I had an idea for a large stone farmhouse in the beautiful countryside of the Yarra Valley and a girl stumbling across it. Something had happened in the house and she feels drawn to it but doesn’t know why. The story evolved from there. Leo’s farmhouse is like a whole other character for me. I can see it in my head so clearly. The whole story played out in my head like a movie!
How do you make time to write?
Some days are harder than others. I have a busy life with young children, but writing is such a wonderful outlet for me that I make it a priority. I try to write every single day even if it’s only a few hundred words so it’s simply part of my daily routine.
Juliette and Leo both have issues to overcome - why did you create their characters this way?
When I started writing Collision, I quickly realized I had too much to resolve for Juliette and Leo and made the decision to split it into two books to do them both justice. They aren’t cookie cutter characters and have different things to overcome, but for me, they are perfect for each other and I love them.
You describe your scenes with a lot of detail - how do you pull this off?
I have several different answers for this question. For certain things, it’s purely my imagination and the picture or movie I have playing in my head. Leo’s farmhouse was crystal clear in my head even though I’ve never seen it in a picture. I felt like I could walk around it and simply describe what I was seeing. For other things like car racing, it comes partly from personal experience and partly from my father who races a lot even in his 70s. The illegal cage fight scenes came initially from my imagination and then I was lucky enough to have them verified by an ex cage fighter. He also helped me authenticate the boxing scenes as she runs a fight centre. It’s one of the things I love most about writing is research and talking to people I would never otherwise have had a reason to talk to.
Do you plan out your stories before you start writing?
I have the main idea, but I don’t plot out the whole story as I’m a pantser by nature. Each of my stories has felt like an adventure for me even as the author whilst writing it!
How do you go about creating heroes that readers fall in love with?
I write all my characters the way I want them to be. If readers fall in love with them, great. If not, I know I can’t please everyone.
How do you come up with such brilliant ideas for conflict? The way the plot goes is just never what you expected it to be, you never know what might happen next!
Some are planned and others simply evolve as I write the story. I like to think my stories flow well and keep the readers on their toes! Unpredictability is definitely my goal.
Have you always wanted to be a writer? What inspired your debut?
English was my best subject at school and I majored in English Lit at University, but never used it in my career in finance. It wasn’t until I was at home with babies and young children that I started reading romance and wondered if I could pen my own. I sat down in early 2014 and wrote about the night my mother passed away when I was 12. What I wrote that day is essentially the prologue to my debut novel “The Holly Project” and was an incredibly cathartic experience. It started my writing journey.
What are you working on right now?
I’m busy writing the third book in my Fight for Life Series as a spin off standalone from Collision and Impact. It’s titled “Levitate” and is Sia’s story. She’s a secondary character from the duet. I’m absolutely loving it!
Where can our readers discover more about your work or interact with you?
The best place to interact with me is my readers group.
Kate Sterritt’s Hummingbirds: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1659909284230639/
Also my FB author page: https://www.facebook.com/authorkatesterritt/
Email: [email protected]
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