For our second summer interview with MM authors, we are quizzing Kate Ling whose forthcoming YA trilogy THE LONELINESS OF DISTANT BEINGS will be published by Little Brown Kids next Spring and already has six foreign sales!

Kate Ling

What’s your daily routine when you are writing? 

Since I have a day job, I mostly write at night.  Usually I start once the kids are in bed and force myself to get some sleep at about 1 or 2 (3 is not unheard of).  Basically I’m pretty much a writing poltergeist that haunts my family while they sleep.

If you weren’t writing, what other job would you dream to have?

Writing poltergeist by night and school librarian by day works pretty well for me at the moment, since it keeps me in touch with my readers, but I secretly wish I’d studied Physics and was Dr Kate Ling, working on the ISS or at the Large Hadron Collider. 

Where do you write best?

I don’t have a desk or an office, so I have a bit of a guerrilla approach.  Basically if I have my laptop with me, I whip it out and work, be it on my sofa, in bed, on my terrace, by the pool or at the beach.  As I write this I am in the car with a view of dead sunflowers stretching to each horizon.  I should probably mention at this point that I live in Southern Spain, otherwise that all might sound a bit weird.

Favourite food/snack while writing?

Does wine count?  No, let’s say chocolate, which should either be dark and bitter and intense, or super cheap and sweet (eg an Orange club biscuit).  There is no middle ground with chocolate.

Do you ever get writer’s block?

If writer’s block includes periods of crippling doubt, or times when you hate everything you write or have ZERO ideas – then yes.  I also had a bit of a drought when I had two babies within fourteen months, but then that’s hardly surprising.

Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, what’s your favourite piece to listen to?

Surgey sounds and dark beauty, like M83, MGMT, the XX, Jon Hopkins.  London Grammar are my current favourite.  I find that what I listen to becomes the soundtrack to the movie that’s playing in my head and really affects the atmosphere of what I write, so I choose carefully.

Most unglamorous part of being a writer?

For me, it’s the fact that I had to write most of my first book on a giant ten-year-old laptop that sounded like a tractor and left purple welts on my thighs by regularly reaching temperatures similar to those on the surface of the sun.

Favourite holiday destination? Are you a beach bunny or a city explorer? 

Camping is what it’s all about, but with a huge tent, perfect weather and plenty of eating out.

Summer tipple of choice?

Ice-cold Spanish beer is perfect for hot weather.  Do love Cava too.

What book are you reading right now/planning to read over the summer?

On my recent camping trip I read ‘Fangirl’, ‘Eleanor and Park’, ‘The Geography of You and Me’, and ‘The Spectacular Now’.  And ended up with serious writer’s envy.

Most importantly, favourite ice cream flavour?

There is no flavour but chocolate.  All my English visitors seem to like pistachio and even watching them eat it makes me die a little inside.  Pistachios are good, ice cream is good, but they DO NOT belong together.  EVER.  That is all.

beach_writing Kate Ling