5 Minutes with Kate Foster #LoveAusAuthors

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Kate Foster describes herself as a children’s author writing about friends, family and dogs, which sounds just perfect to me! Originally from a small town in the south east of England, she now lives on the stunning Gold Coast in Australia with her family and second-hand dogs.

Kate is passionate about encouraging and teaching a wider understanding of autism and mental illness via a positive approach and representation. Her debut middle grade novel, PAWS was published in 2021, her second, The Bravest Word in 2022, and her first chapter book series, Harriet Hound will be published in 2023, all with the brilliant Walker Books Australia. 

PAWS (released April 7, 2021): 
Everything is changing for 11-year-old Alex and, as an autistic person, change can be terrifying. With the first day of high school only a couple of months away, Alex is sure that having a friend by his side will help. So, he’s devised a plan – impress the kids at school by winning a trophy at the PAWS Dog Show with his trusty sidekick, Kevin. This should be a walk in the park . . . right?

THE BRAVEST WORD (released May 4, 2022): 
Do you hear that? You’re Cliff now, and your life is going to get better, I promise. 

When eleven-year-old Matt finds Cliff, a hurt, neglected dog abandoned in the bush, he knows the brave little pup needs saving. He wants to help. But can he?

Lately, Matt has had way more bad days than good days. The pieces of his life just don’t seem to fit together any more and he doesn’t understand why. He’s finding it impossible to concentrate at school and has lost interest in the activities he used to love. Plus, he’s tired all the time.

Matt’s too afraid to share what’s really going on in his own head with anyone. His friends and family will never understand . . . maybe it’s not only Cliff who needs saving.

In all of her works, Kate writes about friends, family, dogs, autistic children and children with mental illness.

‘Everything on this list is me, my life, my experiences, and what I’m passionate about. My books are essentially gentle and wholesome, very character focused, emotional, and at times intense, but with plenty of hope to balance it all out. I guess you can call them quiet books, but for my characters, and maybe for some readers, too, they are loud and important and urgent.’

Five Things About Kate

  1. I am a mother of three boys who are all totally different, and all my best friends!
  2. I grew up in a small town in Kent, England, which is a beautiful part of the world, and moved to Australia with my family eight years ago.
  3. I have never attended university or college because it was too intense and stressful and I was dreadfully unhappy at school.
  4. I am a second-hand dog collector! I have two poodle-spaniel crosses so far, but am planning on collecting more, one day!
  5. I struggle terribly to fill out application forms. I don’t know why, but it’s like I can’t spell my name and address or remember any details about myself!

Five Things About Kate’s Work

My latest book is about:

  1. A fiery, passionate, intensely emotional autistic girl (my first girl character!).
  2. A dog shelter with an unsettled future.
  3. A mother who is obsessed with sharing her and her daughter’s life online for the world to see…
  4. A jealous group of kids who care nothing for the long-term psychological damage they inflict.
  5. An assortment of kind, caring people who are brought together when a girl gets lost.

Five Things That Help Kate Keep Writing

I couldn’t do this without:

  1. My publishing team who back me, believe in me, and work tirelessly to make my books the best they can be and find their way into the hands of those who need them!
  2. My patient family who are quietly proud of me but also keep me grounded by making a constant mess and always needing food! 
  3. My dogs who are always close by to lend a hand, force me outside for fresh air, and remind me what really matters.
  4. My writer friends and support network who cheer me on, read for me, provide valuable feedback, and accept my awkward, anxious ways.
  5. My own will and drive to succeed.

In the future, Kate hopes she can keep writing for years and years to come, because she loves it so much and that she can continue helping her readers, strangers, other writers, family and friends find their voice and place in the world. She also hopes she can one day afford to employ a regular cleaner, that she gets to travel widely again and that finally, pyjamas are accepted as daywear in public.

I couldn’t agree more! You can find Kate’s wonderful books here and follow and interact with her fabulous and supportive twitter feed here.

Helen

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