Joanita Wibowo


5 minutes with author Kate Forsyth

5 minutes with author Kate Forsyth

In 5 minutes with authorOver60 asks book writers about their literary habits and preferences. Next in the series is Kate Forsyth, a novelist and children’s book author. After writing her first novel at the age of seven, Forsyth went on to publish more than a dozen titles. Her retelling of Rapunzel, Bitter Greens, won the 2015 American Library Association Award for Best Historical Fiction. Her latest book, The Blue Rose, is out now.

Over60 talked with Forsyth about the Brontë sisters, a romance trope she can’t get enough of, and the importance of setting small, achievable targets.

Over60: What is your best writing advice?

Kate Forsyth: Write what you like to read, get in the habit of writing every day, and set yourself small achievable targets such as writing one chapter a month – then slowly increase the difficulty of the target.

What book(s) are you reading right now?

I'm reading Circe by Madeline Miller.

What was the last book that made you cry or laugh?

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi – it choked me up.

What book do you think is underrated?

The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Brontë.

What are the tropes that you can’t help but love?

Any story of star-crossed lovers who need to overcome enormous obstacles before they can be together. 

Is there any book by other writers that you wish you had written?

Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier.

Do you have any writing routine? If so, what does it look like?

Every morning I have a cup of tea in bed and write in my journal – I’ve done so since I was 11 and so I have a great many volumes! Then I have breakfast, tidy the house and then walk with my dog somewhere beautiful for an hour, and think about what I plan to write that day. I settle down to work around 10am, work through till lunchtime, have a little break to eat and chat to my husband, and then work through until it's time to start cooking dinner. In the evening, I usually read - either for pleasure or for research.

I try and have Sundays away from my computer, though I still write in my journal and read. The only time this routine varies is when I’m on the road, talking about my books, teaching and telling stories and/or travelling for research.   

Which author(s) – living or deceased – would you most like to have dinner with?

The Brontë sisters.