Barnsbury author releases first novel at the age of 30
- Credit: Archant
Writer’s coming of age novel could see her own career take off
Author Kat Gordon admits to being inspired by the beautiful parks and squares that litter the area of Barnsbury where she grew up.
But her first novel, The Artificial Anatomy of Parks, has nothing to do with green space.
Instead the book is a coming of age story delving into the painful past of central character Tallulah Parks.
“She has all these horrible things happen to her,” says Kat, who lives in Hungerford Road, Holloway.
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“In the beginning she is very young, very lively and she’s very headstrong, very stubborn, a bit of a tomboy.
“She has a few tragedies happen to her. She loses her mum and her dad sends her off to boarding school.”
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The turbulent upbringing of her central character seems very different from Kat’s, who lives just a 10-minute walk from her parents and Thornhill Primary School, where she first found her passion for writing at the age of five.
Her partner Tom Feltham, who she met while studying for her masters degree at The Royal Holloway University in Surrey, is also an author and is working on his debut book.
While never giving up on her dream of being an author, Kat has worked several other jobs, from writing for TimeOut magazine when she first left Oxford University to being a gymnastics instructor, but she feels the book could signal her coming of age, as well as Tallulah’s.
“Since the age of five I always wanted to be a writer,” said Kat, 30.
“I always had this unshakeable belief that it would happen, but I didn’t start writing the novel until I was doing my MA in 2009.
“I used to write a lot of poetry and I wrote a lot about food – people eating chocolate cake and that sort of thing.”
The novel is written from two first person perspectives, the first over a 10-day period of Tallulah as a 21-year-old, which begins with her going to hospital when her father suffers a heart attack.
The second voice is a younger Tallulah, who fills in the background leading up to situation she finds herself in in her early 20s.
“She’s quite funny and interesting to read about,” Kat said.
“When I was doing my MA we did a lot of reading about child protagonists.
“They allow you to be really inquisitive, they can say all the things that adults aren’t allowed to say and can ask questions that others can’t.
“I think maybe there’s a little bit of me in Tallulah, but we’ve had very different lives.”
While it has been a seven year journey to publishing her first book, which is released next week, Kat’s second was polished off in a year and is now in the process of being edited.
To write it, she and Tom both saved up in order to move to Iceland for six months, where they both just wrote.
“We wanted to have a period where we could just get away and write,” said Kat.
“It was amazing, it was really great because it’s such an amazing country.
“I can’t write when there’s any noise or distractions, so I usually have to stay in and write.
“But it’s really nice to be able to go to Barnard Park or Barnsbury Woods which are so nearby.
“It’s amazing that we are both working on our first novels at the same time, I can’t stop smiling.”
The Artificial Anatomy of Parks will be available in major bookshops and on Amazon from July 1.