The Friday Slot - Kate Mosse, author
And, yes, when I first started writing, the fact that Carcassonne and the Languedoc were new to me, was very important. At home in Sussex, I was always a daughter, a mother, a wife, a friend, a neighbour, someone who had run the local theatre and grown up in Chichester. In Carcassonne I could be, simply, a writer and walk the streets anonymously. Very liberating.
I don't write domestic stories because they don't interest me at all. I'm interested in epic adventures, in the broad sweep of history against which individuals act. I am driven by wanting to tell stories of action and momentum, rather than reflection, and to create strong and active female characters. There are many excellent authors (men as well as women) who focus on the domestic. I think all readers - women and men - sometimes want characters they can identify with, but more often just want characters they care about - no one keeps reading if they don't want to know what happens to a character, so it's the emotional engagement that is key.
And, yes, a labour of love. Or rather, not a labour of love so much as just enthusiasm, excitement at having an idea and working with hit. Novels take a long time to plan and to get right, to edit and publish, so it has to come from a genuine desire to write the story and make it work. The thought of commercial possibility (which might or might not come) is simply not enough to sustain years of work on a novel. Above all, it is fun. Satisfying, challenging, enjoyable meeting readers and travelling - what job could be better than that ....