December 7, 2015

Kate Morton

My top shelf of favorite authors

Kate Morton is one of the few authors on my auto-buy list. For good reason. Without exception, all her books are reliable in their brilliance. In fact, the highest compliment I can pay a good book is to say “for fans of Kate Morton.”  I could be wrong, but since the publication of The House at Riverton, I’ve noticed the genre of historical fiction to swell with novels along the lines of Morton’s signature style. Namely past and present narratives alternating then converging as the present characters become obsessed with a mysterious tragedy of the past. Happily for me, I’ve found some fantastic authors in this subgenre while suffering the long wait between Morton’s books. But make no mistake – there is only one Kate Morton!

Thus, when I heard that her book tour for The Lake House was going to take her to a bookstore near my town, I was in raptures. I had previously seen her when she was on tour for The Secret Keeper some years ago but I did not have a chance to get any of my books signed. Still, I treasured that event as I was completely charmed by Kate. She was as beautiful and interesting as her books, full of lively spirit. I even remember the outfit she wore, with a bright flower on her belt and stunning shoes.  She was everything I expected and more.

The lovely authoress graciously signing my entire Kate Morton library.

She did not disappoint this time around, either, looking somewhat rock star-ish, with her black leather jacket, tall black boots and fall of long dark hair. Of course, authors are my rock stars anyway - getting me to squee like a fangirl. However, I was not the biggest Kate Morton fan at the signing, as I found out two young women had flown from Seattle just to meet her! 

Kate started by letting us be privy to how The Lake House came to be. Months before she started writing, she said she shook out her bucket of puzzle pieces/idea fragments she had been collecting and picked three or four which when put together formed the basis of The Lake House's plot.

1. A famous Australian mystery wherein three children in 1966, aged 10, 8 and 4, went to the beach and were never seen again. 

2. The allure of abandoned houses; in this instance, some years ago a Paris apartment full of furniture and memorabilia was discovered to have been untouched and unopened since World War II.  Imagining why this apartment would have been abandoned was a catalyst for Kate, but if you want to read a fictionalized version of this particular event, read Michelle Gable's A Paris Apartment.

3. Kate's love of mysteries. As she put it, she thinks of herself as a "mystery writer"; although her books are never categorized as such. "Every one of my books has a mystery in it."

4. Cornwall. She thinks of it as "enchanted," the perfect setting for a "sleeping beauty house" such as Loennath.  Indeed, Kate's descriptions were so vivid and evocative, I've put Cornwall on my travel list.

Kate was so warm - just the ideal authoress, really. She was even battling a cold, but took the time to make meaningful conversation with everyone in line.  As I was saying goodbye, I told her that I hoped she would always come to this book store every time she's on a tour.  

For my review of The Lake House, go here. In a nutshell, READ IT!

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