Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
I have currently written and published two books. My debut novel, 'Alice' and my current novel, Love, Secrets and Absolution'.
1) I am one of four children born to my parents and own the second position. The reason I use the words ‘own and position’. Is because of my wonderful late father who seeded us all, much like in tennis. I was number two seed, being born second. It was all fun and banter.
2) As previously mentioned, my father enjoyed giving us titles of one kind or another. Not the regal kind you understand. Thankfully, he never called any of his daughters ‘Princess’ or his son ‘his little prince’. After all, these type of titles may have encouraged us to think above our station. That would not do. We were working class and proud of it. My title was ‘Miss Prim’. You may well ask why? Apparently, because I was always reading, writing and pretending to be a Teacher or a Librarian, he felt that I was destined to be a prim and proper young lady.
3) Born in the early fifties, the education system was far removed from our current system. I am not complaining. It was as it was! This was the years of the eleven plus exam. In retrospect, I now realise, how unfair the system was. I sincerely believe that most children who passed this all-important exam were groomed to do so. Don’t get me wrong. Some children were innately intelligent and deserved their place at the Grammar school. Others were well prepared in a number of ways. The others considered as factory fodder. At my junior school there was a teacher by the name of ‘Mr Richardson’ whose pupils were well prepared for the eleven plus exam. These chosen students were provided with mock papers and taught what to expect in the exam and how to tackle the type of questions and math problems. The rest of us were shocked, when the eleven plus exam paper was placed in front of us. Being the second youngest in the class, I wasn’t quite eleven when presented with the exam. I clearly remember the exam. Sat on a hard wooden double bench that was attached to an individual desk lid that opened both yours and your mate’s desk at the same time. I clearly remember the stained inkwells either side of the desk. It was late spring /early summer when I sat this momentous exam. Perfect for hay fever sufferers like myself as I snivelled my tired self through these questions that for the most part looked as though written in code. As a consequence, or maybe not. I did not pass my eleven plus. I went to the local secondary modern school where I stayed for four years.
4) I left school at the tender age of fifteen and a few weeks old. My work began the following week. My desire to be a teacher or nurse was put on hold, while I earned my keep.
5) Realising that education was the key to success. I set about educating myself. I passed the entrance exam into nursing and later enrolled at the local technical college, to study ‘O levels’. I studied: Biology, Psychology, Sociology, language and literature. All paid for from my own earnings. Imagine my surprise and absolute joy, when I was awarded grade A in all subjects. A good education was finally in my grasp. I went on to study to A levels and eventually enrolled with the finest of universities. The Open University. So you see. Although the formal education system let me down. I rose above the establishment by funding my own education.
6) There was a time after gaining my Biology degree, that I considered leaving my nursing career and becoming a teacher. I studied a Diploma in teaching with this in mind. However, my heart was set, to continue working for our wonderful NHS.
7) I lived and worked in West Germany for a few years as a consequence of my husband being posted to R A F Laarbruch.I enjoyed my time living in an alternate country. It enriched my life. “ sprechen Sie Deutch” anyone?
8) I rather enjoy attempting to learn different languages, much to the delight of my family. Over the years, it has helped tremendously when choosing gifts for me. Including books on how to swear in a variety of languages. I can’t profess to be anywhere close to being fluent. It is all just a bit of fun.
9) As much as I enjoy music and dance, I do not have a musical bone in my body. My sense of rhythm is not good and my singing voice is pitiful. Despite this. I live in hope to learn to play at least one tune on my guitar before I die. It is actually on my bucket list, which I can report with most sincerity, is getting shorter as I tick off each of my wishes.
10) At the magnificent age of sixty, I enjoyed my first and last tandem parachute jump. This is high on my list of memorable experiences. It was the most amazing experience of my life to date. As I soared through the clouds, free-falling at an incredible speed, the clouds decided to give up their contents.For a short time I was surrounded by millions of tiny hailstones, battering my face. The sensation was of tiny pricks of pleasure and was an absolute delight. I appeared to be moving faster than the hailstones were falling. As a consequence, it was a surreal experience, as the hailstones appeared to be floating around me. I could almost reach out and pluck them from the sky. Although my last fact on this list of things you didn’t know about K.L.Loveley, is now common knowledge. In relation to the publication of my debut novel ‘Alice’. Did you know, that it was at the very top of my bucket list?
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
My latest book is called, 'Love, Secrets and Absolution'.
I felt inspired to write a novel that incorporated an aspect of social history to reflect a particular event that occurred in Nottinghamshire. Hence the time frame of the story. Although the miners’ strike is only briefly touched on, it does in fact set the scene of the unfolding family drama. In order to portray the lives of Alfie and his family, it became necessary to cover nearly two decades, during which time, many social changes took place. I personally remember these time’s, therefore reflecting many of my own observations of life during the eighties and nineties.
Indirectly, perhaps this was part of my inspiration to write the novel, as I clearly remember these times.
Over the past decade, an increasing awareness of children’s mental health issues and in particular the autistic spectrum disorders have enabled a greater understanding of these conditions.
With this in mind, I ventured to create a fictitious family who could portray the day to day struggles of a life that was considered to be less than satisfactory.
When developing the main protagonist Alfie, I felt that it was important to identify early on in his life, that he did not see the world as others do. By introducing his character before his birth I hoped it would reinforce the concept of nature as opposed to nurture being the reason that Alfie was not like other boys.
There are many stories and films about children with Asperger’s, however few document from the aspect of birth to the coming of age. I wanted to write a bittersweet story that covers topical references and current issues. Deceit, betrayal, teenage angst, love and addiction are all weaved into the emotional lives of the characters within the story.
In addition to the everyday struggles of life for Alfie, I felt it important to show his capabilities in terms of his academic and sporting achievements, to portray how despite being on the Autistic spectrum, he was able to rise above his traits and succeed in a variety of ways. This includes the development of three very important friendships, one of which becomes a lifelong attachment, leading towards his future.
While I felt that it was important to take the reader on a journey through the eyes of Alfie. Equally, there was a need to have a different perspective. In order to achieve this alternate voice. I created a diary for Grace to speak to the reader about her love and devotion to her son and her own emotional torment. Parents of teenagers with Asperger’s face, even more, difficulties than usual. While it is important to allow independence and financial responsibility this can lead to a multitude of other problems and reinforce the underlying risk-taking behaviour. Although Alfie is the main protagonist, I decided to develop the character of Grace as a means of encouraging the reader’s imagination to think about how it might feel to be the parent of a child who is different from others.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
No, not really. I have no set times or rituals of any kind. I do most of my writing while we are on our canal boat. It is moored at a wonderful Marina, approximately forty minutes from home, My husband and I, visit on a regular basis. When we are out sailing in the countryside, it provides me with a peaceful environment in which to concentrate on my writing.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
There are many wonderful authors, both male and female. However, when asked to name an author who I truly admire, I turn to history and nominate Jane Austin, who died at the early age of forty-one in the year 1817.
By today’s standards, such a short life and yet, her writing suggests a life well lived, in terms of the experience she poured into her books.
As a woman, dependent first on her father and then her brothers in terms of her financial security, there is no doubt, that her writing was, both a means of escapism and a desire to provide her own income. Considering that she was the daughter of a clergyman, I am in awe of the width and sophistication of her observations. I would imagine that Jane was exposed to a limited amount of acquaintances, bearing in mind the limitations of her social circle. Despite this and other variables, she created such interesting characters, who to my mind, are as interesting today as the time they were written.
The prose is beautifully crafted into themes around: class, romance, love and money. My favourite being ‘Pride and Prejudice’. The title speaks volumes and would fit well in today’s society with our current problems relating to issues around prejudice.
The character of Elizabeth Bennett, was way ahead of her time, when ladies of breeding were expected to be just that! To be used for the purpose of producing an heir and a few spares, to help in old age. She was determined to marry for love. A luxury not afforded to many women at that time.
There is a strong message in her work related to her own feminine view. She quite deftly, puts this across in a subtle but humorous prose. I guess in many ways, Jane Austin was ahead of her time.
Now for someone completely different, who in fact would probably disagree with my first choice of Author?
Maran Keyes the Irish Novelist actually admitted on one of her video blogs that she isn’t a fan of Jane Austin. Something to do with English literature at school.
However, I am a great fan of Marian Keyes and her style of writing. There is a fundamental openness in her work, it is very refreshing and honest. Marian, develops such believable characters and brings them to life through her story -telling. Somehow, despite the story being either dark, tragic or simply heart-breaking, her humour shines through.
Stella Sweeney, the protagonist in ‘The woman who stole my life’ is currently one of my favourite Marian Keyes characters. She is optimistic and upbeat and sees the good in everyone. Actually, as I am writing this, I almost feel a kindred spirit with this character and a certain likeness to myself. I digress.
I find this story a fascinating account from a medical perspective, in terms of the disease process and subsequent recovery. Despite the seriousness of the illness, the humour is abundant. For example, the way Stella describes her neurologist as the narky Range Rover man. In addition to the medical side of the story, her journey as an international bestselling author is quite fascinating and enlightening for me personally.
The chemistry, Marian Keyes created between two fictional characters was quite extraordinary and so believable. The romance is not cloying and soppy, it is realistic and feisty.
Although, both of these authors are females born in a different century, they share the same skill of creating best-selling novels which are timeless.
What are you working on now?
I am currently finalising my collection of poems. Chameleon Days. This collection is brought to life, by the illustrations of 'Elvina Dulac'.
In addition, I am working on my third novel, 'Union Blues'.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
I am still learning about the marketing and promotion of my work. However, from what I understand, all of the social platforms are good methods, when it comes to promotion.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
'Never give up on your dream.'
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
'To thine ownself be true'. William Shakespeare.
What are you reading now?
Human Universe, written by Professor Brian Cox and Andrew Cohen.
What’s next for you as a writer?
Although I have written for pleasure, since being a young girl. I was already sixty-four years old when my first book, 'Alice' was published. Therefore, at the moment, I am content to continue writing, gritty, true to life stories.
It would be nice to produce an audio version of my books, in the future.
What is your favorite book of all time?
'Anna Karenina' written by Leo Tolstoy is my favourite, along with,' Pride and Prejudice' written by Jane Austen.