Today, we’re thrilled to host debut writer Kat Chant. Her novel God of Summer is released next week, 12th September and is available to pre-order at a discounted price for buyers on Amazon! Scroll down for the link
Monday Merry Meet: Kat Chant
Hi Kat, welcome to the Enchanted Emporium. Come through to the back. Did you find us okay? We’ve had problems with a disgruntled customer, so the shop is on the defensive. It keeps hiding itself when people walk by. Not handy when we have a business to run.
What would you like to drink? We’ve a full selection of teas from Yorkshire tea, Earl Grey to matcha. Many herbal tisanes. Coffee, or something stronger?
I’m an herbal tisane fan, so any chance of a Pukka tea? Otherwise, anything with cinnamon or cardamom because I’m into spicy!
Willow: We may have some Pukka tea kicking about but if you like spicy, why not try some of our own blend, Autumnal Cosy Chai? The black tea is blended with ginger, cloves, cardamom and cinnamon and hits the spot on these cooler evenings. It’s one of our top sellers as we head into Halloween. I’ll get you some.
Amber: Don’t be fooled by the word cosy, that tea has a kick but people like it. Your debut is out next week. How are you feeling?
<Laughs nervously> Excited. Also faintly nauseated. I mean, people I don’t know are going to read this book. People I know will usually say something polite or nice….
Willow: I’m sure you’ll be fine and other readers will see the magic. We’ve all read the blurb and not only does the hero on the cover look swoonsome, and the premise of a Celtic god coming to the modern world is intriguing. What was your inspiration?
My husband claims he’s my inspiration and he’s… not wrong? After all, he was a tour guide at Newgrange, the home of said Celtic god, which gave me a lot of insider knowledge. But the inspiration was really the question: the Irish god of love was supposed to live there. If he’s still around, why would he show himself now?
Willow: We’ll be reading the book to find out why. The novel involves a banshee attack which is an uncommon mythical creature to write about. What attracted you to them? Did you do extensive research for this novel?
Banshees are that rare mythical creature people in Ireland still admit to, um, hearing. (Seeing, not so much.) I love that there’s still a thread of mysticism there that hasn’t died, and I’ve tried to respect that in my story. The locals have a pretty good idea of who my Celtic god is, but they keep their distance—just like in earlier days, you’d mind what you said about the Good People whether you believed in them or not, because it wasn’t worth the bad luck if you were wrong.
This takes me to a related story… When Newgrange—the 5,200-year-old temple/tomb where my story is set—was excavated in the 1960s, the locals insisted light used to shine inside the hill and illuminate the trispiral (the design on my hero’s chest). The archaeologists dismissed this until they checked the midwinter alignment and went, hang on… So, Professor O’Kelly, who led the dig, sat in the chamber and waited, and lo and behold, the sunlight comes in through its very own VIP entrance as a beam of light that penetrates the utter darkness until it’s bright enough inside to see the stunned faces of those around you.
That last part was my own reaction because my boyfriend at the time gave me his place one midwinter solstice and I had the privilege of witnessing this truly magical event myself. This is the part where I say: reader, I married him.
Does that also answer the question on research? Sort of? I might have also spent about twenty years absorbing Irish culture while investigating every piece mythology to do with the Tuatha Dé Danann I could find, while also nicking all my husband’s archaeology books.
Amber: That’s a lot of research and you must have enough info to write many books.
Willow: And archaeologists should have learnt by now to trust what the locals say. They often know more than they are given credit for. You’re a bookworm as well as a writer. Do you have a favourite place to read and does this differ from your writing space?
Since libraries have always been my safe space, naturally I’ve created one of my own. My office is a teeny tiny room that is wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling filled with Billy bookcases. I’ve tried to create a reading nook by my window but it’s not very comfy. Hmm, I really need one of those hanging egg chairs, stuffed with cushions to properly nestle in.
Willow: That sounds a bookworm’s dream apart from the uncomfy chair. I’ve often considered a hanging chair myself, though Vincent may not like it or if it was a cane one, he’d shred it to pieces. Cats and weaved furniture never mix well.
Several customers tell us their life stories and some of them would make wild, fantastical novels. Do you have any advice for new writers?
Writing is like parenthood. Everyone is ready to give advice about how to do it ‘properly’, but you have to find what works for you.
Willow: Good advice. The Enchanted Emporium sell a number of candles in The Wishing Spell range which promise to help your day go smoothly. Which would you choose?
It’s tempting to take the Focus candle because I can be scatty, but you know what? I want (good) Luck, because while I do believe persistence pays off, it’s the lucky breaks that lift you to the next level.
Willow: Listening to authors that pop in it does seem serendipity places a role in some cases though it can’t happen if you’ve not written the book in the first place. It requires a particular sort of dedication and mindset.
Amber: That Willow doesn’t have despite liking the idea of writing. The Enchanted Emporium is plagued by ghosts and paranormal activity? Have had had any spooky experiences – has it influenced your writing.
<Nods in sympathy> Oh yes, my husband and I (don’t I sound like the queen?) used to live in a 300-year-old farmhouse. Before we took it on, a lot of the guides used to stay the summer there and move on. At least one said she wouldn’t stay because of the resident ghost. He dwelt on the third step from the bottom of the staircase—so he could observe the main room vet who went upstairs. After a couple of years living there, I lost my temper with him being all judgy and told him if he didn’t like us living there, he could move on. That seemed to settle him for a bit. I think ghosts like to be acknowledged.
I put him into an early draft of God of Summer, but he didn’t stick. Hopefully, he’ll find a place in another story, another day.
Willow: Ghosts do like to be acknowledged though some are awkward. We have a cold patch on the stairs we believe is a ghost, but no amount of cajoling makes it appear. It just freezes your bones as you walk past.
Willow: What book would you add to The Enchanted Emporium bookshelf?
Easy – Charmed Life by Diana Wynne Jones. It’s chock full of witches, sacred gardens, curses and foretelling, but everything comes with a twist. I adore it.
Amber: We need that book. It’s on my TBR list now it sounds ideal, and I can’t believe I’ve not heard of it. What would you add to Rosa’s box of Romance?
Another easy one— The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. This is a proper Rom Com with enemies-to-lovers and every word flows.
Willow: Another good choice. What are you working on currently? Or is it top secret?
I’ll tell you so I have to do it: I’m writing a prequel novella to God of Summer, currently titled Heart of Darkness.
Willow: We’ll be cheering you on to finish it and you’ll have to come back when it’s being released. Thank you for visiting and here is some tea to take with you and a focus spell candle – we need to know more about Angus.
About Kat Chant
Kat Chant is an award-winning writer. A bookworm who grew into a history buff, she exchanged beaches for castles move from Australia to the UK. There, she fell in love with a lad from Ireland…and fell in love with his country, too.
She and her family live in the heart of Ireland, surrounded by fields in forty shades of green.
God of Summer
Back in the Bronze Age, Angus McCraggan sacrificed his life to break the Celtic curse laid on his kind. He failed. Millennia later, he returns to modern Ireland to find his people have become feral, vengeful shadows. With his hollow hill now packed with tourists, he uses his power to keep his past hidden.
Until an American calls him out.
Since a banshee attacked her as a teen, Erin De Santos has been tormented by dreams of a boy she’s never met. Armed with a new identity, she returns to the Emerald Isle determined to face her nightmare. But her discovery turns fatal.
When the banshee strikes again, Angus surrenders his heart—and his hope of freeing his people—to save her. With his life now hers and his curse descending, Erin must make a terrible choice: kill her saviour or share his doom.
- Available for Pre-order at a discounted price: https://books2read.com/godofsummer
Social Media Links
Twitter @katchantauthor / https://twitter.com/katchantauthor
4 thoughts on “Monday Merry Meet: Kat Chant”
Congratulations on your new release.
Ellen Y. Mueller
LikeLiked by 1 person
Sounds like an excellent read. I enjoyed the blog post. Congrats and best wishes!
LikeLiked by 1 person