About Katharine and Elizabeth Corr
We are sisters and best friends (try writing a book with someone else and you’ll see why that last bit is kind of important). After spending our childhood in Essex, we now live ten minutes away from each other in Surrey. We both studied history at university and went to work in London for a bit. When we both decided to write novels – on account of fictional people being much easier to deal with than real ones – it was obvious we should do it together.
Stuff Katharine likes: playing instruments badly; dead languages; LOTR; loud pop concerts; Jane Austen; Neill Gaiman; Loki; the Surrey Hills. Killing off characters.
Stuff Elizabeth likes: sketching, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, cinema, long baths, kitchen discos, Terry Pratchett, Thor, London. Saving characters.
Stuff we both like: YA / non-YA fantasy and science fiction,Star Wars, Star Trek, each other (most of the time).
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1. Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
Liz: We’re sisters and we write YA novels together. Our first book, The Witch’s Kiss, was published by HarperCollins in June. Most of the time we get along fine and we have pretty similar tastes; just as well given what it takes to write as a team. Kate is older than me and can sometimes be just a little bit bossy.
Kate: That could be true. Though Liz has the whole demanding younger sib thing going on. We’d been writing together for about two and a half years when we got an agent and a publishing deal in 2015. Since October last year we’ve been working flat out to edit The Witch’s Kiss, and now we’re editing our second book, The Witch’s Tears. We both have children and cats.
2. What kind of books do you bring with you when you go on holiday?
Liz: I like to take books that make me laugh, Terry Pratchett’s Disc World series in particular: Granny Weatherwax is one of my favourite ever literary characters. I’m also really enjoying reading Rainbow Rowell at the moment (particularly Carry On), and all the Harry Potter books (obviously). I like to read light women’s fiction on the beach, especially anything by Sophie Kinsella.
Kate: I tend to take a mixture of new books (on my last holiday I read and loved Crow Moon by Anna McKerrow and Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell) and favourite books that I can reread. There’s something really relaxing about knowing how the story is going to turn out. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve read Lord of The Rings and Pride & Prejudice.
3. If you could spend a sunny day anywhere what would your perfect day look like?
Liz: probably I’d spend the day at somewhere like Battle Abbey, which is absolutely beautiful. The grounds are stunning, too. I’d find somewhere shady and slightly off the beaten track to sit with a picnic (probably including a Pimms & lemonade) and just relax with a good book. Obviously there would be no children or cats involved.
Kate: Somewhere by the sea, I think. I’d like to be eating fish and chips overlooking Whitby harbour, listening to the gulls scream and the waves breaking against the harbour walls. Failing that, I’d take a picnic to Leith Hill and sit under a tree and read.
4. Could you tell us about your hobbies (when you are not writing or reading)?
Liz: I’ve always enjoyed drawing, but I’m going through a bit of an adult colouring book phase at the moment. It’s so relaxing! I also love listening to music (Keane and Bastille are favourites) and having kitchen discos. I’ve got young kids so my relaxation time is a bit limited, but I really enjoy a long soak in the bath when I can get one. I’m obsessed with American drama series of dubious merit.
Kate: I play various musical instruments including the harp and the cello. I’m pretty bad at all of them but I enjoy it, and I only play when no one else has to listen. If I have control of the TV remote, my favourite things to watch are Star Trek, Horrible Histories and The Goldbergs.
5. Where do you find the inspiration for your stories?
Liz: From everywhere, really. From news stories, photos people have taken (particularly anything from @abondonedplaces – they can be really eerie) from watching people or from listening to music. I find a good classical soundtrack can really help the ideas flow. Two Steps From Hell are especially awesome: they compose music for films and trailers. Their stuff is always very epic sounding and is great when you’re writing fantasy.
Kate: Myths and fairy tales and ancient stories are wonderful sources of inspiration. I remember reading the Norse myths as a child and being entranced. In the last couple of years I’ve been kind of obsessed with early English stories too: Beowulf and Sir Gawain & the Green Knight are favourites of mine.
6. If you could be any leading character from a bestselling book, who would you be and why?
Liz: Well probably Hermione, because she is such a great character: smart, talented, brave. Or failing that Meghan from the Iron King series because she gets to kiss Prince Ash quite a lot.
Kate: I’d kind of like to be Eowyn from Lord of the Rings. I’d get to ride into battle, stick a sword into the chief Nazgûl and marry Faramir.
7. What's your favorite reading spot?
Liz: this is going to sound really lazy, but in bed, tucked up under the covers. Either that or on a beach, listening to the waves.
Kate: Lying on the sofa at home, or lying in bed, or lying on a thick rug in front of an open fire. Being horizontal is obviously a theme.
8. What is your favorite holiday destination and what do you like so much about it?
Liz: I love Vejer de La Frontera in Andulacia. It’s a beautiful, old-fashioned Spanish town which sits on a hilltop. The weather has always been glorious when I’ve been there and there are wonderful, sandy beaches nearby. The food is amazing, all the eateries are open very late and lots of people spill out onto the pavement late into the evening. The atmosphere is very relaxing.
Kate: I’m not keen on flying so I’m going to have to pick somewhere in the UK. A few years back we went to the Scilly Isles a few times, and I’d really like to go back there again. It was so quiet and unhurried. It felt like being in another century, almost.
9. Do you have any advice for authors who would like to write a sunny story?
Liz: Go somewhere sunny first! Observe the scenery, the weather, the people. Write down anything that captures your imagination in a notebook so you can come back to it later.
Kate: Go away somewhere, even if it’s just for a day – do something out of your routine so you get that ‘holiday’ feeling. Perhaps try to imagine a character and put him or her in that same situation and see what happens!
10. What can we expect from you in the future?
Liz: Our second book, The Witch’s Tears, comes out in January 2017. At the moment we’re hard at work editing!
Kate: We’re also working on a standalone retelling of an English classic which we hope will be quite gothic and haunting.
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