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Kate Sawyer

Kate was born in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, where she grew up in the countryside as the eldest of four siblings. She lived in South London for the best part of the last two decade (living briefly in Australia and USA) but recently returned to East Anglia.

Kate trained in acting at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art and has worked as an actor since. She is a founding ensemble member of award-winning theatre company The Faction and established her own theatre company The Curious Room. 

Previous writing includes adapting Lorca, writing short films and plays and recipes. The Stranding is her first novel.

She is the mother of 1 year old daughter as a solo mother by choice. 

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Hi! I'm Kate Sawyer, author of The Stranding, which came out in hardback from Coronet on 24th June 2021. The Stranding is my debut novel. It's a dual timeline novel that focuses on a British woman, Ruth, and her life before and after she survives the end of the world by hiding inside a whale! What can I tell you about myself? I'm a mum to a 18 month old, until I started writing I worked as an actress (mostly Shakespeare on stage) and event planner (mostly parties and weddings) and I recently moved back to East Anglia after living in London for almost twenty years before that!


Are you working on something now? 

Yes. I am working on my second novel. And possibly my third..?! I've been busy writing over the last year, but, as it always seems to, the work has found its own way and so it turns out I've been working on two projects rather than one. I'm afraid that's all I can say for the moment! 

Tell us about yourself?

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Which six books will you take to the Island?
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This is so hard! But, I've decided to go for really immersive books and also, ones that are, for the most part uplifting with themes of hope and love. I'll need that sort of thing to keep me going if I'm to be all alone!! 


Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Okay, so I said uplifting and this one, might not be necessarily classed as that. But it is incredibly immersive. The dual time line gives some relief from the tumultuous love affair and also there are so many different types of love.

It's a fascinating study of human psychology that would absorb me entirely.

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Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres

Another dual timeline novel (yes, I'm a fan!) and an evocative, immersive love story amongst the brutality of war and sadness. Such a brilliant book!


Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

I LOVE these characters too. Bathsheba! Gabriel! And I also love how Hardy writes, how you know these beloved characters are hurtling towards their doom but for some reason you can't look away. I think it'd keep my mind off my own situation, being so bound up in theirs!


Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger

A bit of an odd choice to choose such a short book, maybe. But, I love it. It's full of little aphorisms, piercing truths about life. Also, it's funny and the characters are wonderful. 

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The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

This will likely be on any list of books I would compile for any circumstances. I just love it. It's not without its flaws but it is so heart-smashingly romantic. I adore it, I could read it over and over again.

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Night's At The Circus by Angela Carter

This book is so many things. On the surface it seems to be magical realism or historical fiction, maybe. But it is about being woman about female desire and the male gaze and sexual politics and it is EPIC in its scope and storytelling. I love Angela Carter, but this is the one I would take with me always.

Which disc will you take to the Island?

I mean- an impossible task to choose one song to listen to forever! But if I have to, I don't think I'd choose my favourite song ever, but one of them and one that is really important to me. Landslide by Fleetwood Mac, it's what my daughter was born to, so it'd remind me of her and I love the lyrics about life moving on and nothing staying the same.

Some may say that is a sad sentiment, but I find it reassuring, that things just keep evolving. 

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What will be your luxury item?

I want to say chocolate- but I feel like that might be too helpful to aid my survival. So I'll say shower gel. Specifically, the Aesop one with Geranium, Orange and Rosemary - ridiculously indulgent, but the scent of heaven!

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Which fictional character will you meet? 

Gilbert Blythe.

Not from the original book when he was mean, but the later ones when he grown up and a full-on dream boat. I'm sure there are more exciting people I could have chosen, but I've been in love with Gil since I was seven, so it seems too good an opportunity to miss!

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Thank you Kate

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