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Meet the author: 5 minutes with Kate Sawyer

The Bury St. Edmunds Literature Festival celebrates books and writing in the heart of East Anglia. This year, the festival will be held from 20th-22nd October 2023. Among the many exciting events, one that stands out is the opportunity to meet the author Kate Sawyer. She will be appearing at the festival on Saturday, 21st October ‘23, at 4.30pm.

Who is Kate Sawyer?

Kate Sawyer is an author who has a unique background in performance. She was an actor for 20 years before she began writing short plays and films. She then decided to try her hand at long-form writing, which resulted in her debut novel 'The Stranding.' This book was shortlisted for the Costa award and received critical acclaim.

Kate’s Heroes and Inspiration

As a child, Kate's heroes included a diverse group of individuals, including Anne Shirley (of Green Gables!), Blossom, Martin Luther King Jnr, Jason Donovan, her Grandad, her Mum, and an art teacher called Ms. Sinclair. Ms. Sinclair was the first Ms she ever met and had a significant influence on her, she remembers the teacher even letting them try avocado in art class. It was her love for telling stories that eventually sparked her interest in writing.

Her New Book: 'This Family'

At the Bury St Edmunds Literature Festival, Kate will be discussing her second novel, 'This Family.' Intriguingly, the novel is set in Bury St Edmunds. 'This Family' is set over 24 hours in a garden somewhere in a village on the outskirts of Bury. It narrates the story of the Robert's family through different perspectives and memories, focusing on pivotal moments in their lives that they might not have recognised as such at the time.

Her Expectations for the Festival

Being a Bury native, Kate is looking forward to engaging with her readers and seeing them discover new authors, stories, and points of view at the festival.

Kate's Reading Recommendations

When asked about her current 'to-read' pile, she mentioned Ayòbámi Adébáyò’s 'A Spell of Good Things' - a book she really enjoyed for its gentle storytelling, yet significant issues at its core. She also mentioned 'Happy Place' by Emily Henry, a romcom that she loved.

Did You Know?

One interesting fact about Kate that her readers may not know is that she hosts a weekly podcast called 'Novel Experience' where she interviews authors about why they write, how they write, and the experiences that led them to, through, and beyond publication. She will be putting her interviewing skills to test at the festival while chairing several events.

Don't miss the opportunity to meet Kate Sawyer at the Bury St. Edmunds Literature Festival 2023. Book your tickets now at

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