An Interview with Kate Venables

We sat down with Kate Venables to discuss her literary book club novel and why she loves writing.


Tell us an interesting fact about yourself

I’m a doctor. Although that seems very normal to me, everybody on the MA seems to think it is interesting.

When did you start writing?

I’ve always written – journals and poems on paper; stories in my head. But I started writing regularly and productively when I dropped from full-time to part-time work in 2012.


I just love words. I’m a bookworm. Now I see myself as constructing little ‘boxes’ in words – crafted objects I hope people will enjoy.

What’s your novel called?

The novel I wrote at Bath Spa is provisionally called ‘Lifelines’, previously called ‘She’s Nice’. I’m currently working on a memoir based on my father’s life called ‘A First-Class Man’.

Tough question. Sum up your novel in three sentences.

Nick and Jane’s marriage ends when Nick leaves for another woman. After a long recovery, Jane finds tentative happiness again. Years later, Nick’s mother dies and things fall apart for him. He turns to Jane but she rejects him.


Literary fiction/book club

What is your cosmic statement?

Our families of origin cast a long shadow.

What are the themes?

Family; parents-and-children; betrayals

Who is your protagonist?

Main protagonists are Nick and Jane.

Tell us a bit about the setting.

The medical and medical research world in London.

Who/what are you reading right now?

Francis Spufford! Great writer.

What famous authors have a similar style to yours?

Helen Dunmore is an inspiration.

If you were to compare your novel to another[s], what would they be?

Carol Shields Happenstance looks at a marriage from the points of view of each protagonist which is something I am trying to do in ‘Lifelines’.