Katy Moran

This month we speak to author Katy Moran about what motivated her to write her new book Bloodline Rising, the fantastic sequel to the action-packed adventure Bloodline

1. Who is your favourite character and why?

If I had to choose, I would probably say Cai. He has a dark side but he is funny, too. He sees through the adults around him. Cai has the potential to do great good or great evil, and even I didn’t know what choices he would make till the end of the book.

2. Cai is known as The Ghost due to his talents at being ‘invisible,’ and has the power to twist and control people. Do you wish you had either of those powers yourself?

Not so much now, but when I was younger the ability to move without being seen would have come in very useful on a couple of occasions… And knowing how to control people might be handy too, although I’d get bored with it after a while. Where’s the fun in life when everyone just does what you tell them? There would never be any surprises.

3. This novel is written in the first person. Was this change a personal choice, or just how the character demanded to be written?

There was no choice – it was just Cai, and how he wanted to be written. 

4. What is your favourite thing about the Dark Ages? 

My favourite thing about the Dark Ages in Britain is that they weren't as dark as we used to think – written records from the period are few and far between, but people were much more connected with the rest of the world than historians realised. Silver from the far-off Byzantine Empire was found amongst treasure in the tomb of a mysterious Anglo-Saxon warrior at Sutton Hoo in Suffolk...

5. How did you plan out the lives of your main family, and how easily did you fit them into the history which was already there?

I didn’t really plan it – the characters grew by themselves, so it was a matter of letting them react to events that were unfolding at the time. I had to do quite a bit of research to find out what was happening in the world at that point.

6. How much of your inspiration comes from real life and real people?

I am inspired by history and real events, but Cai came from somewhere inside me. He isn’t based on anyone I know. I really don’t know where my characters come from. I have always wanted to write about Constantinople, though – I find certain places incredibly inspirational. Atmosphere is another thing that gets my creative muscles working.

7. Who are your favourite writers and how have they inspired your work?

Oooh, I have too many favourites to list. As for inspiration, Rosemary Sutcliff’s wonderful books were just one of the things that made me want to write about the past. I wanted to do it in my own way, though. Also, not only did I read On the Road by Jack Kerouac to ragged shreds when I was about 15, but I have always been inspired by how it was written. The story is that Jack Kerouac taped together sheets of paper till he had a roll nearly 40 metres long, which he fed into his typewriter. Then he wrote, hardly taking a break for three weeks, without having to stop and reload the paper, and finished the whole book. There’s nothing like just getting on with it!

8. Do you have a writing routine?

Ha! I used to (it involved getting up quite early in the morning) but now I have a bouncing baby to look after, I write whenever I get the chance. Unlike me, Evan is very sociable in the mornings, so we have a good old chat then (I do most of the talking), and I write when he falls asleep, or if I’m lucky, when Grandma is looking after him.  

9. Will your next book finish Cai’s story, or should we expect a new main character?

That would be telling…

10. You write a lot about secrets, trust and loyalty. What is it about these difficult issues that interests you the most?

The way we struggle with them, and the hard choices people sometimes have to make. Sometimes there isn’t a right answer. Other times the temptation to do what we know to be wrong is too great.