Brunel Writer had the pleasure of talking to author Kirsty Capes about her debut novel Careless and ask about the process of writing and publishing it. Have a read at the conversation and don’t forget to check out Careless and Kirsty’s social media page (@kirstycapes.author).
Brunel Writer: Hi Kirsty, it is a pleasure to have you at Brunel Writer! Your debut novel Careless is out now, can you tell us about the story and the inspiration behind it?
Kirsty Capes: Careless follows a young girl named Bess who is in foster care when she falls pregnant at age fifteen. The book follows her, and her best friend Eshal, as she decides what to do about her pregnancy, and as both girls navigate the treacherous terrain of female adolescence. I wanted to write a book about someone in foster care, as there are so few out there in the mainstream right now. I also wanted the book to tell a story about female friendship and unconditional love above all else.
BW: You have been working on this book for over five years, is that so? Which has been your favourite part of the process?
KC: Yes, I started writing the book when I was 21, and now it’s coming out when I’m approaching 28! I think my favourite part of the process has been getting to know my characters and getting stuck into the story. I also found the editing a really fun process which brought me closer to the text and helped me to get more out of the story.
BW: You studied Creative Writing at Brunel and started writing Careless whilst completing your PhD, how do you think your time at Brunel has influenced your journey?
KC: I’m a bit biased, but I think creative writing at Brunel is the BEST. The faculty are amazing. Every lecturer who taught me during my degrees at Brunel shaped my writing and my approach to storytelling in really profound and positive ways. I am forever grateful to all of them for being such relentless champions of the students and their work.
BW: We have seen you have been working on your second book, how much can you tell us about it at this point? Is going to be a sequel to Careless or a new story? And when can we expect it?
KC: I can’t tell you very much at all! But it will be a new book, not related to Careless, although it will explore similar themes of coming of age, loneliness and learning to love yourself. It will be out in 2022.
BW: Lastly, what advice would you give to any creative writing student thinking of writing their own novel?
KC: Hard work pays off! Don’t give up, even when you get knockbacks. Take all of the advice you can get, and read as much as you can.
BW: Thank you and we wish you the best of luck!
Careless by Kirsty Capes is published by Orion and is out now. You can order your copy here.
Interview by Margarida Mendes Ribeiro