Today on the blog Kate North stops by for a chat. Punch is out now in paperback, published by Cinnamon Press.
Punch by Kate North
Back of the Book
Punch is a collection of stories exploring the uncanny, the uncomfortable and the surreal in the everyday, at home and abroad. Whether its a man with a growth on his hand, a couple trying for a baby, a woman finishing a book, a pope with penis envy, or a bullied girl, characters throughout the collection assess their surroundings and are often forced to reassess themselves. Punch offers the reader a humorous and disturbing take on life in the twenty-first century.
Kate North was born in Glasgow in 1978 and moved to her family hometown of Cardiff soon after. Kate teaches Creative Writing at Cardiff Metropolitan University. She has previously published a novel, Eva Shell, and two poetry collections; The Way Out and Bistro.
Can you tell us a little bit about your book?
It’s a collection of short stories that focus on weird, unsettling experiences in the everyday world. Through the stories we follow characters who encounter strangeness, who are outsiders or who find themselves in new and unexpected situations. I am interested in the choices they make, their actions and reactions.
Who would your book be perfect for?
Fans of the short story as a form. People who like stories by writers like Anna Kavan and Ali Smith. Fans of the slipstream genre. Readers who want to travel on the page; there are stories here set in Belgium, Wales, Italy and France.
Did you have a favourite character to write?
Yes, he is called Nick from my story ‘Beaujolais Day’. He is having a night out with a friend when he realises that the waiter serving him in the restaurant is someone who bullied and assaulted him when he was in high school. He addresses the situation in a really dignified way. I would like to be as restrained as Nick!
What inspired you to the write the book?
I am interested in how people respond to unforeseen circumstances and I am also fascinated by moments of change and the life choices they provoke. The short story, I think, is a great vehicle to explore these types of scenarios. I wrote some of the stories after visiting the specific places they are set. This collection of stories has grown over the last four or five years
Can you share with us a photo from 2018 that meant something special to you?
I took this picture on holiday in Lake Como. It’s the entrance to the Como/Brunate funicular railway. Brunate is a really cute little village above Como and you can see amazing views of the lake. This picture reminds me of the holiday and also, I had the idea for a short story set in the village. I’ve not written it yet.
What has been your proudest bookish moment?
My first book launch at the Hay Festival in 2008 was pretty cool.
Do you have any questions for your readers?
I would like to know which story from the collection people like best and why.
What is your favourite read of your whole life and why?
I think this question is so unfair – I have so many favourites. It can change on any given day. Today I will go for Italo Calvino’s Castle of Crossed Destinies
What are you working on now?
My second novel. I am about half way through it but I don’t want to jinx it by talking about it. Sorry!
Thank you Kate for being on the blog today.
In the name of full transparency, please be aware that this blog
contains affiliate links and any purchases made through such links will result in a small commission for us (at no extra cost for you).