Café Cala welcomes Kylie Kaden

Hi Kylie, welcome to Café Cala,

Lovely to be asked!

Kylie KadenI’m delighted to have you visit Café Cala. I really enjoyed both of your books. I’ve been making a banana and blueberry loaf this morning. Would you like tea or coffee with yours?

Tea. Coffee. I’m not fussy what form my caffeine comes in. Thankyou!


1 Where did you get the idea for Missing You?

I didn’t really have a lightbulb moment. It ‘evolved’ rather than appeared. For me, romantic love isn’t about fleeting gestures. It’s about carving out a place in your life for someone long term; considering their needs, working as a team to make your life together richer and happier. To serve as a buffer. I wanted ‘Missing You’ to be firmly grounded in reality, and be honest about the struggles life throws at all of us – it’s not a book for those that want to escape to a wondrous land of perfection, but I think it conveys a message that true love can withstand the realities of life, and grow stronger for the experience.

‘Missing You’ tells the tale of an extraordinary love shackled in an ordinary life. Parts are heart-warming – as you watch Aisha and Ryan fall in love, others heart-wrenching, as they face the realities of marriage, family conflict, parenthood. Their love never seems to waver, until, in the dark of night, Aisha leaves their four year old son with his grandpa, and doesn’t come back…

2 What have you found most rewarding about your writing?

When you are plodding away on that first manuscript you are hopeful, but unconvinced that anyone will ever read the darn thing, so to see a book with your name on it on shelves in department stores is an amazing feeling. Losing Kate was also translated into German earlier this year, so to imagine my little Brisbane-set story with very Aussie lingo engaging readers in Europe is quite surreal.

The novel also has a character – a four year old boy with Apserger’s. It is especially rewarding to hear from parents who felt they connected with, and were reassured by my depiction of the challenges, and joys of living with children on the Autism spectrum.

 3 How did you start writing?

I was an accidental author. I started writing while on maternity leave as a sanity saver (and a handy housework avoidance strategy). It was cheap, quiet, and could be done anywhere in yoghurt stained pyjamas. I have an honours degree in psychology and worked as a manager in the public service in my past life, so I had no creative writing experience. But psychology did equip me with a healthy fascination with quirky characters and human motivation which I try to weave into my stories.

4 What would you say has helped you most?

Because I had very little technical knowledge, I think it was my ignorance to all the ‘rules’ that made me distinct (and somehow that rawness allowed me to be plucked from the Random House slush-pile). I’ve always been an ardent reader. Books have been my guide. I kind of just use my instincts, and write in scenes to avoid telling. Things seem to work best for when I stick to scene based chapters to demonstrate qualities or turning points rather than ‘narrate’ them.

5 What are you working on at the moment?

My third novel is about the dynamic between two intertwined couples after one person commits an unthinkable act which slowly unravels their lives. The event tests loyalties and friendships, as each tries to hold on to those they love. It feels a little experimental this time as the story is told in roving third person – which is new for me, and (due to the suspense elements), I’ve actually started with a plan!

6 What advice would you offer aspiring writers?

Be brave. Don’t be afraid to keep the personality on the page. Don’t try to emulate anyone else or please everyone – readers yearn for honesty; a different spin on the well-trodden plot; the quirky turn of phrase, the off-beat observation, the slightly-insane interpretation of a common scene. I believe these little nuances make fiction shine. And always leave a gap between you and the reader for them to ‘fill’.

7 Which authors do you enjoy reading?

I grew up reading crime by Patrician Cornwell and Michael Connelly, but after having kids I seem to have switched to family dramas and ‘chick-lit with grit’ by authors such as Liane Moriarty, who never fails to have you laughing and crying all on the same page.

missing you Read free sample chapters of Missing You here:

Available in Ebook or in print from most online booksellers. Signed copies of both books are available here:




Check out Losing  Kate too. losing kate






Café Cala welcomes Ann Cleeves

Hi Ann, welcome to Café Cala,

Ann Cleeves Author PicI’m delighted to have you visit Café Cala. I’ve loved all of your books and the TV series based on them. I’ve just finished The Moth Catcher and loved the build-up of tension towards the end. Love Vera! I’ve been making a raspberry and pear loaf this morning. Would you like tea or coffee with yours?

Black decaff coffee please!

1 Where did you get the idea for The Moth Catcher?

The book developed from a number of different ideas and experiences, I think. About ten years ago we were invited to stay with some friends in a village in Norfolk. They threw a party and everyone there seemed to be affluent people who’d taken early retirement. They seemed a bit bored and desperate, as if they were trying to prove that they were still young enough to have some sort of life. In my head I called them the ‘retired hedonists club.’ I thought they might make a short story one day but they ended up as suspects in a novel instead. Then, when my husband and I were first married we rented a flat in the attic of a big house in Powys, near the village of Kerry. In the book I moved the house to the Tyne Valley in Northumberland, but that flat became one of the crime scenes. The book begins with the bodies of two men being found in Gilswick, a small rural community. One is found in a ditch by the side of a track and the other in the flat in the big house. The only thing to connect them is their passion for catching moths. The third influence on the book is the time I spent in prisons when I was a probation officer, and later running readers’ and writers’ groups. Some of the scenes are set in an open women’s prison.

 2 What have you found most rewarding about your writing?

I love telling stories. It’s as simple as that. It’s fun meeting readers and watching the books turn into TV dramas; I’ve met some lovely people through my work. But nothing beats sitting at the kitchen table with my laptop to create a fictional world where relationships develop and fail and exciting things happen.

3 How did you start writing?

I’ve always written, even before I could actually read or write. I remember as a very young child creating a narrative in the third person in my head describing everything I was doing. So I think I was always an observer of small domestic details! The first book was started when my husband and I lived on the small island of Hilbre in the Dee Estuary. He’s an ornithologist and it’s a local authority nature reserve. We were the only people living there so there weren’t many distractions.

4 It must be very exciting to see your books come to life on television. Can you tell me a little bit about that?

It was very exciting to hear that ITV Studios were planning to adapt first the Vera books and then after a commission from the BBC, the Shetland novels for television. I’m not really involved in the process of adaptation though I have a terrific relationship with the team and especially with the lead scriptwriters on both shows. We have developed a tradition that I take the writers to different places in Shetland and Northumberland, so they have a feel for the settings before they complete their work.

 5 What would you say has helped you most?

I have a brilliant agent who has been with me almost from the start of my writing career. She’s the first person to see each book and she does a certain amount of editing before it goes to the publisher. She has a network of co-agents throughout the world and their in-put is very valuable too. Editors tend to change over the years but Sara, my agent, has been a constant support.

 6 What are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on a new Shetland novel called Earth to Earth. I’m aShetland HB Cover bit behind schedule because I’ve fitted in two extra books this year. One is a Quick Read for people new to reading or who have English as a second language and one is a non-fiction book about Shetland. That’s just out and is full of magnificent photos. I take people through a year in the islands and I think it would make a great companion to the Jimmy Perez books.

7 What advice would you offer aspiring writers?

Get to the end of the book! It’s very tempting to re-write the first few chapters. It’s much more important to get the first draft down as quickly as you can. That gives you confidence and you can look at the structure of the story as a whole before you start polishing it.

 8 Which authors do you enjoy reading?

I’m a huge fan of translated crime fiction. If you read a country’s popular fiction you have a real sense of its culture and preoccupations. It’s like travelling without having to leave home.

Moth Catcher HB The Moth Catcher features the much-loved DCI Vera Stanhope, a role reprised by Brenda Blethyn in ITV’s Vera, and whom the Independent described as: ‘a policewoman as crumpled Valkyrie, at times almost an outcrop of the landscape, at times avenging goddess striding the Northern blasts.’ Vera Stanhope has proved to be a refreshing change from the British tradition of male detectives and, in Vera, Cleeves has created a strong, female central character that continues to rival the likes of Sherlock and Morse.
This case was different from anything Vera had ever worked before.  Two bodies, connected but not lying together.  And nothing made her feel as alive as murder.
The Moth Catcher, the seventh book in the Vera Stanhope series, is set in the idyllic and quiet community of Valley Farm in Northumberland, where all is not quite what it seems. A shocking discovery shatters the perfect silence. The owners of a big country house have employed a house-sitter, a young ecologist named Patrick, to look after the place while they’re away. Then Patrick is found dead by the side of the lane into the valley – a beautiful, but lonely place to die.
When DCI Vera Stanhope arrives on the scene, with her detectives Holly and Joe, they look round the attic of the big house she finds the body of a second man. The only thing these two victims have in common is a fascination with moths and catching the beautiful, rare creatures.
The couples that live in the neighbouring Valley Farm development have secrets too: Annie and Sam’s daughter is due to be released from prison any day; and Nigel watches, silently, every day, from his window. As Vera is drawn into the claustrophobic world of this increasingly strange community, she realizes that there may be deadly secrets trapped here…

.You can buy The Moth Catcher and Ann Cleeves’ Shetland through Amazon or in any good bookshop. I have an author Facebook page and you can check out my website – – which has details of where I’ll be appearing on the events page. I’m also on twitter: @anncleeves