For this week’s weekly chats we are joined by Sunday Times columnist, interviewer and feature writer, Charlotte Edwardes who will be chatting with highly awarded author, Kate Weinberg to discuss her book The Truants. The Truants has been nominated as Observer Book of the Year, A The Times Best New Crime novel, A Guardian Top 10 Golden Age Detective novel, An Irish Times Best Debut of the Year, A Marie Claire Top 5 Christmas Reads, A USA Today Must-Read Books of Winter, An Entertainment Weekly Best Books of January and An Apple Books picks for January. Weinberg’s writing could be related to a magpie’s collection of writing with pop culture, history, seismology, psychology & the myriad of layers within the book. Edwardes & Weinberg dive deep into the book, with inspirations, her writing process & the structure of the part-thriller, part-coming of age, part crime story. Expect bunking lectures, taking drugs, hedonism & plenty of sex.
In this chat, Charlotte & Kate cover:
- The Truants: Very well constructed, part-thriller, part coming of age, part crime story.
- “As a writer I can’t choose between character & story.” Kate on writing a bestseller.
- A synopsis: The Truants follows the story of Jess Walker, an undergraduate who goes to the University of Norfolk & becomes entangled in a lot of relationships in which she shouldn’t be involved with. Eventually her life spins off into a Mediterranean Island & we see the many unique perspectives, insights & characters captured by Weinberg within this novel.
- Kate on her love of campus novels, the undergraduate experience & the longing for an amazing mentor. The inspiration behind the book (hint, her undergraduate experience was “dreary”).
- The intriguing elements within a mentor & student relationship that led Kate to write about this dynamic of a female mentor. “I have always been drawn to strong, older female characters.”
- The one woman in Kate’s life whilst doing her Masters degree that had a profound impact on her world view. An older ‘topsy turvy’ woman who hid vodka in the bottom draw & chain smoked cigarettes. “You will write about her one day.” said a fellow student.
- Charlotte on the dynamic between Kate’s characters & female friendships, sometimes sad, sometimes moving & sometimes a lot of fun.
- Kate on using the psychology of women she knew to then evolve into a male character in the book. This particular character has an ability to use coercive control & manipulation & we dive deep into the power exchange within male & female characters.
- The intoxication of the energy of youth & older people’s ability to tap into the energy & experience of younger generations.
- Love as a big theme in the book & how our childhood experiences define how we love as adults. Kate on how she builds characters to relate to their unique experiences growing up.
- Vanishing Acts, Agatha Christie & the act of going AWOL that inspired the book. “I think women have this fantasy where you get your freedom back”.
- Charlotte asking Kate the big question: Have you met many highly manipulative people in your life that have led you to write this book? Plus Kate’s fascination with emotional & psychological control.
- Kate on the magpie of writing with pop culture, history, seismology, psychology & the myriad of layers within her book The Truants. “I’ve been able to make a bit of layer cake of stuff.” A story that was constructed over many years & reflects on Kate’s life. “So much of the book is just piecemeal bits of my life. I don’t write in diaries & i’m not very good at photo albums..”
- Kate on being a writer & a mother. “I had a lot of free time in my twenties & got nothing done.” Although when Kate had small children, she became propelled into her creative writing world as a sense of a refuge in her head.
- Plus Kate on publishing, upcoming books & what is next.