Friday 16 August 2019

Blog Tour: Guest Post from Kate Hunter Author of Common Cause

Today I am lucky enough to be part of the blog tour for Common Cause by Kate Hunter. The book is out now and you can click here to order a copy. I have a guest post from Kate for you today. Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more exclusive content and reviews. 

Here's what it's all about...

It's 1915 and Britain is at war as Kate Hunter's sequel to The Caseroom - shortlisted for the 2017 Saltire First Book Award - opens on the next stage in the lives of Iza Orr, skilled compositor, and the workers in Edinburgh's print industry. At a time of momentous events, we step alongside Iza as she copes with unexpected complexities of patriotism, women's suffrage, worker victimisation and a historic wartime lockout. `It seems the country needs starched cloth-lappers and lunatic asylum attendants, but it does not need books, does not need learning and intellectual stimulation.' Printers are denied reserved occupation status but, with bankruptcies looming, the jobs of Edinburgh's dwindling number of female hand typesetters are on the line. Riven by challenges both political and personal, Iza must weather conflicting calls for loyalty to nation, to class, to gender, to family - her marriage to troubled John, her children, her estranged daughter Mary, now a grown woman - to discover her true common cause.  

And here's that guest post about Kate's favourite character to write from Common Cause. 

Choosing a favourite character to write is a bit like choosing a favourite colour. I can never do it. That’s partly because it depends on my mood, but it’s mostly because colours come to life in combinations – orange and purple, green and red, for instance. Same with characters. It’s the dynamic relationships between characters that fascinates me.

Common Cause uses a close third-person narrative style. This means its third person – she this, she that. But we’re bound by what Iza, the principal character, experiences internally and externally.

So it’s the dynamic between Iza and other characters that excites me – between her and her mum, her and her troubled husband, her friend Margaret, her work chums, especially tasty Geordie Joe (the love angle). Oh, and her daughter Mary, a fraught relationship that tests Iza. Now, Mary I did love creating. She’s a young woman who crackles with eager purpose. 

When it comes to minor characters, I loved creating the elderly Mr Scott, who in a sense voices my views. He says what I’d say, or what I’d like to be able to say, about what’s going on around him, about the state of the world.

My feelings towards posh Mrs Sinclair, active in the Women’s Freedom League, are less straightforward, less worthy. With her, there’s an extent to which I was taking revenge on well-meaning, snobby women I’ve come across.

Then there’s Irish home-rule-supporting mechanic Michael who befriends Iza’s son William. He’s great.

I loved writing the whole lot of them, having them develop in relation to each other.

Thanks to Kat for stopping by the blog today and sharing that post with us. 

Don't forget to check out the other stops on the tour for more exlclusive content and reviews!



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