Category Archives: Katie Marsh

This Beautiful Life by Katie Marsh

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This Beautiful Life by Katie Marsh

I cannot believe this is Katie Marsh’s third book already. Time seems to have gone so quickly since the launch of her wonderful debut novel My Everything in 2015. I am delighted to be a part of the official blog tour for This Beautiful Life. Another breath-taking that will break your heart and also make you laugh. It is just brilliant.

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If you have not discovered any of the three books by Katie Marsh, then you are not just missing out on incredible books but also a writer that has cemented her place among the best of the recent new writers.

This is the story about Abi, she is in remission from Cancer and this really is her moment to grab hold of life and give this a second chance. This is Abi’s story and is set to her favourite playlist of her songs. This story is also about relationships and during the time when Abi was very ill you would think her husband John would be her rock but this appears not to be the case. We also meet their teenage son Seb who has a secret all of his own and is struggling not only coping with his mum’s illness but also fighting his own battle and it really is beginning to take its toll on Seb. This was really heart-breaking at times to read. So at a time when the family should be strong and united to help Abi, it is in fact a family divided and on the verge of breaking down.

Now she is recovering from Cancer Abi want to fight for another chance and bring her family back from the brink. I often speak about characters in novels and how important it is to make them real with real lives facing the same problems in everyday life that we all face. When you know someone who is suffering from Cancer you know the problems they face and not just on the medical side but also personal and financial. It all adds the stress and worry. With Katie Marsh and how she creates her characters they are as real as you and me. There is no higher praise. I am a huge admirer of her writing.

None of us are perfect and here in This Beautiful Life all the key characters all have their issues and I had to wonder while reading how this was all going to play out in the end not just for Abi but also for John and Seb. Sometimes when you know things are going wrong in life you feel as though you have lost control and at some point you are going to hit rock bottom. Abi must have thought this while she was fighting that dreadful disease but then you turn the corner and more problems are waiting to knock you down even more. Families and secrets. Oh yes we all know this goes on and her in this story it hits home. I am not going to give away how this ends. But you REALLY want and should read this beautifully written book that will break you and lift you. If it comes across that I am a bit of a fan of Katie Marsh and her writing, well I admit I am because her books are real life and the characters are just so believable and real. This is a writer who not just puts her heart and soul into her writing but goes even beyond that if that is possible. It is sad, funny heart-breaking and moving. It is a book that you should add to your Summer reading pile and I promise you will not regret reading. Apologies if there are tears while reading. HIGH RECOMMENDED

384 Pages.

Thank you to Emma Knight and Hodder & Stoughton for the advanced review copy of This Beautiful Life.

This Beautiful Life by Katie Marsh was published by Hodder & Stoughton on 27th July and is now available through Waterstones, Amazon and all good bookshops.

 This Beautiful Life Official Blog Tour

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Meet the Author – Katie Marsh

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MEET THE AUTHOR

 ~ KATIE MARSH ~

In the latest in a series of Meet the Author Interviews I am delighted to welcome the wonderful Katie Marsh who’s second book A Life Without You has just recently hit the bookshops also her highly acclaimed debut novel My Everything both published through Hodder & Stoughton. Here we talk about Katie’s books and life as an author.

 

Congratulations on your second novel A Life Without You for those that are about to discover your book for the first time can you give us a brief synopsis.

The book tells the story of Zoe, who is about to get married when she gets a call telling her that her estranged mum Gina needs her help. She leaves the wedding, putting her relationship in jeopardy and the book follows them as they reconnect, only for Zoe to discover that Gina is showing signs of early-onset dementia. It’s about the two of them becoming close again against the ticking clock of Gina’s illness, and about coming to terms with the past before it’s too late and making the most of every moment you have.

Your second novel is a poignant story of the relationship of a mother and daughter. Where did the inspiration for A Life Without You come from?

My granny had Alzheimer’s, and for years I watched my mum trying to look after her and making such difficult decisions in order to try to keep her safe. Her bravery was a major source of inspiration to me in writing this book. Equally, I thought of the idea when I had just become a mum for the first time. Every chapter ends with a letter from Gina to Zoe, written on every birthday, from first to the present day. Through them the reader learns about how close they once were, and about the family secret that rips them apart. They are my favourite part of the book and were inspired by letters I write to my own daughter on her birthdays. I found motherhood seismic, to say the least and so the book is very influenced by that – the fact that when you become a mum you try to do the best for your child but never really know whether what you’re doing is right.

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When you decided to write second novel you must have had to face a lot of research, what challenges did you come across during the writing process and how long did it take to write?

I think the challenge with this book was how very personal it was – keeping the story and structure tight while trying to convey the depth of emotion I wanted was incredibly difficult. Also, it was my first book written under contract and as such it took only a year (my first published novel, ‘My Everything’ took five). There were some long nights at the keyboard, and my structural edit notes were about ten pages long, but I have a brilliant editor who really helped me to unwind the good from the bad and keep the book pacey, humorous and – hopefully – moving.

As an author how do you decide on the characters that you want to play in you books?

I am not a planner and I find that the characters do just tend to walk straight into my head. In this book Gina came first – fully formed, while Zoe took longer to fix on the page. Then came the rest of their family and Zoe’s fiancé, Jamie, and there was my main cast of characters!

You previously worked in healthcare has this played a major role in writing your books?

Definitely. I saw so many emotions while working in hospitals and clinics around the country – and so much bravery all around me no matter where I was based. My writing tends to walk the line between laughter and tears, and my years in the NHS were definitely key to me deciding what kind of books I wanted to write. I found it incredibly inspiring seeing people cope with so many challenges with so much humour, bravery and determination.

 I talk to a lot of authors about their writing routines, some are more creative in the early hours and some are happy in a bustling environment. Can you tell us about your typical writing day?

I have to start early, or my day slides into oblivion. I am usually up and writing by 7 and I write all morning. In the afternoons I do my research, catch up on emails and – of course – pretend I’m not spending too much time on Twitter.

How has the process of writing your second book A Life Without You differed from your first book My Everything?

It was a LOT quicker. It did feel pretty pressurised, as I wasn’t used to the book in a year cycle, and I did come pretty close to the wire on my deadlines. However, as I now have an expert agent and editor to read early drafts, I found it a much more satisfying process, as the book took shape more quickly with their help.

How has the journey to become an author been, how long did it take to have your first book published?

It took me ten years to progress from writing my first word of fiction to seeing my first novel in print. I wrote two novels that didn’t quite make it along the way, and was just about to give up when I thought of the idea for ‘My Everything’ and it wouldn’t let me go.  Once I’d finished it five years later, I quickly got an agent and got a two-book deal with Hodder a few months later after yet another edit.

Do you have any advice for any writers out there seeking to start their journey to become an author?

I found Twitter incredibly helpful and supportive – and I actually first met my agent, Hannah Ferguson, via a friend I made on the site. So I’d recommend getting on there, and also just reading a lot and writing a lot. Everyone always says that, but it’s TRUE.

 Some writers I talk to never read any reviews about their books and some hang on every word written about them. Are you a reader of reviews people have written?

I certainly am. So far I’ve been pretty lucky, and I’m learning not to take the bad ones personally – as one of the joys of books and reading is that everyone has such differing tastes. I also store away the lovely reviews and read them when I feel stuck on my current book – I find they help me to keep the faith when I’m really struggling to get a story into shape.

 Are there any writers that have inspired you to become a writer?

Many. Jojo Moyes. Rowan Coleman and Rosamund Lupton would all feature here, but also childhood writers like Cynthia Voigt or Dodie Smith. They made me love stories and writing, so are probably exceedingly responsible for my choice of profession!

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Now that you have two books under your belt and now an established author, what motivates to want to write more books?

There are so many stories in my head – I very much doubt I will ever write them all down. I can’t imagine I would ever stop voluntarily and I am training my daughter to be a story addict too – I love making up stories for her starring her toys and friends.

 Do you have a favourite book of all time?

Argh. The nightmare. If I did have to answer, it would be an equal tie between ‘I capture the castle’ by Dodie Smith and ‘Wonder’ by RJ Palacio.

 Are you planning a summer holiday? What will you be reading?

I’ve actually already been on holiday (Cornwall – amazing). But over the next few weeks I’m reading several Tamar Cohen’s (I have just discovered her), Cathy Rentzenbrink’s ‘The Last Act of Love’ and the new Emily Giffin. I can’t wait.

What’s next for Katie Marsh author?

I am about to hand in the first draft of my third book which I am utterly overexcited about. I have been wanting to write it for years and while I can’t give anything away I can say that I can’t WAIT to share it with you all.

 

My thanks to Katie Marsh for taking the time to answer some questions on Meet the Author. For more on Katie Marsh visit her website Katie-Marsh.com

You can follow Katie on Twitter via: @marshisms

If you have not yet discovered both books by Katie the links below will take you to both. And they are truly worth reading.

My Review of: My Everything

My Review of:  A Life Without You

Bookstore links:

My Everything: Amazon Link. Here   Waterstones Link: Here

A Life Without You. Amazon Link: Here  Waterstones Link: Here

 

 

A Life Without – by Katie Marsh

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A Life Without – by Katie Marsh

The Last Word Review

A Life Without You is the second novel from Katie Marsh following on from My Everything which was so beautifully written and a story that is thought-provoking. I highly recommend it if you have not yet come across it. When my advanced review copy arrived in April I was very humbled to find out that I had been mentioned towards the end of the book.

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It is Zoe’s wedding day a day that is supposed to be a very special day and one that she will remember for the rest of her life. But something is wrong, is this a case of wedding day nerves or is this Zoe wondering if SHE really is doing the right thing. Then the doorbell rings and Zoe’s life changes. A friend of her Mum is standing on the doorstep. Zoe’s mum has been arrested now her wedding day lies in ruins. Is this the moment for Zoe to escape what is meant to be her big day?

What comes next through a story of pure unconditional love from a mother to her daughter. But there is much more to this story and it is a powerful story, of forgiveness or the road to forgiveness. How do you start the process of forgiving a parent for something that happened many years before? Sometimes this journey is not an easy path to take.

Through A Life Without You we see the story from Zoe and her Mum and the letters written by Zoe from an early age to her mother Gina. Then we start to see what went wrong and from her mother to her daughter. At times I felt I was intruding into the very personal lives of a mother and daughter but this is how beautifully Katie has written such an emotive story that deals with themes including the devastating impact of the onset of Alzheimer’s. Some readers will recognise some of the issues raised with the pages at times heart-breaking and yet there is laughter also within the story. There is so much warmth that comes from this story and one of hope when illness can literally tear a family apart. It is a story of hope in despair and one that will make you think about your life and how you must live for every moment of every day. It is an evocative story that Katie tells and one that you will not forget. A story of hope and of forgiveness.

I have little doubt that A Life Without You will receive even more praise. When I started reading I knew very quickly I was reading something quite something a tender story of a mother and daughter and of the past and the future. Bags full of emotion written and will pull on your heart one moment and make it soar the next.

 

Thank you to Emma Knight at Hodder & Stoughton for the advanced review copy.

A Life Without You by Katie Marsh is published on 14 July by Hodder & Stoughton and is available to pre-order through Waterstones and all good bookshops.

My Everything by Katie Marsh

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My Everything by Katie Marsh

 

Review Date: 10 September 2015

Author: Katie Marsh

Release Date: 27 August 2015

Publishers: Hodder & Stoughton

ISBN –10: 1473613639

ISBN – 13: 978-1473613638

400pp

Available in Paperback and Kindle

 

The Last Word Review

An exceptional heart-warming debut novel with a message of hope and love. A beautifully written novel

 

I had already heard good things about My Everything by Katie Marsh so when this landed on my desk I wanted to read the book there and then. Finally I have and it is a beautifully written thoughtful novel.

Marsh writes with such tenderness about a subject that she has painstakingly researched and put together a novel that you will find very difficult to put down. The ultimate page turning novel packed full of emotion but at the same time uplifting.

On the day Hannah has decided that this will be the day that she ends her marriage to Tom by telling him she is leaving him, something terrible happens that will change their lives forever.

Tom is a workaholic and seems to spend more time in the office that at home, and when he at home Tom is forever criticizing Hannah and after another drunken late night row, Hannah has made up her mind she is going to leave Tom and get away, but she will need to decide when that will be.

Hannah wakes up to find Tom not in bed but lying on the bedroom floor, she thinks he is drunk after another drunken late night, but Tom is not drunk he is paralysed on the floor. The Paramedics are called and later in hospital it is confirmed that Tom has had a stroke at the age of only 32. Hannah’s plans to tell Tom she is leaving all falls apart and she is riddled with guilt, what does she do now? What is to become of their lives, their marriage? All she wants to do now is look after her husband in sickness and in health after that was their marriage vows on their wedding day just a few years before.

Their story is mixed with flashbacks to the past and the present. Hannah’s dreams are now shattered and now the pair have to try and rebuild their lives, truth is can they, does Hannah want to stay or is it time for them both to move on, what will everyone think if she now left Tom after his stroke. There is guilt in this story.

I loved the characters in this story especially Tom’s errant Sister who at first you take an instant dislike. Note I said at first. But all their friends bring something to the story that adds to its depth and warmth.

My Everything is a s story that reminds us of how fragile our lives are, what we have and hold so precocious and sometimes we take for granted can change at an instant and with that our lives can change forever.

So do Tom and Hannah make it together you will need to get yourself a copy of My Everything and settle down to a read you will not forget.

 HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Meet the Author

Katie Marsh

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Katie lives in South west London with my husband and daughter, who are locked in an ongoing turf war with my ever-expanding book collection. As well as writing novels I work in healthcare, and my first book was inspired by the bravery of the patients I met while working in stroke services. It’s called ‘My Everything’ and is about a young woman – Hannah – whose husband Tom has a stroke on the day she’s going to leave him. I really hope you enjoy it.

When I’m not working or writing my next book (currently a large pile of Post-its), I spend a lot of time in local parks trying and failing to keep up with my daughter’s scooter. I love mojitos, afternoon cinema trips, stealing my husband’s toast, karaoke (in my head I AM Cher) and adding cheese to absolutely all of my meals. My Everything is Katie’s debut novel and was published by Hodder on 27 August 2015.

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