December 2007


Kate Lace is the pen name of Catherine Jones, the romance writer whose first book Army Wives was published in 1996 and is chairman of the Romantic Novelists' Association. The former army captain is married with three grown-up children and lives in Oxfordshire, England. The first two novels of her three-book deal with Little Black Dress have recently been released.

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  1. How did you get into writing?

    I first got into writing because I got involved in the production of a magazine for army wives. They were short of copy one day and the editor asked me to write a piece about being an army wife and make it funny. Good at obeying orders I did as I was told, the piece was a success, I was asked to write a regular piece and slowly it ended up as a book.

  2. How has your army background assisted you in your writing career?

    All my first books had an army theme. They say you should write about what you know... so I did.

  3. What inspired you to switch directions, from traditional romance to chick lit with Little Black Dress?

    I felt I'd done as much as I could with an army theme. Also, I heard that Little Black Dress were looking for people to re-create the early Jilly Cooper books. I'd been such a huge fan of hers in my youth that the thought that I might be able to do something similar was very seductive. I decided to have a shot and, well..., the rest is history, as they say.

  4. Do you read much chick lit? If so, which authors do you like?

    I read a lot of fiction full stop but I am a big fan of Jill Mansell, Carole Matthews, Matt Dunn, Christina Jones, Katie Fforde - all the usual suspects. But books like The Time Traveler's Wife (Audrey Niffenegger) and The Constant Gardener (John Le Carre) have also blown my socks off in recent months.

  5. Tell us about the first release, The Chalet Girl.

    The Chalet Girl is Millie Braythorpe who is in a French ski resort to escape from an unhappy home life. Right at the end of the season she meets and falls for Luke but when she thinks he betrays her trust too, she bolts for a second time in her life. Living in a slummy bed-sit in a less than beautiful town she finds solace in her friendship with her best mate, Freya, and her music. Her music gets her an introduction to an impresario but yet another misunderstanding make her run out on her big chance. Luckily her friends hunt her down, reunite her with Luke and it all ends happily ever after.

  6. Are you much of a skier?

    I love skiing and I (mostly) stay upright. However, I've got to an age when my sense of self-preservation prevents me from trying to keep up with my kids.

  7. What was the inspiration behind The Movie Girl?

    I had a job with Shed Productions (they made Footballers' Wives and Bad Girls) on a TV show which hasn't yet been screened about the British Army. I was the military consultant! I worked very closely with the costume department because they were always wanting to know stuff about medals and badges etc. The girls in the costume department were lovely and I thought at the time what fun it must be getting so close to the stars.

  8. Which movie star would you most like to be on set with?

    Tough question ... I think it would have to be Orlando Bloom - it's the eyes! But I think I'm probably a bit old for him so maybe I'd be better off with Sean Connery.

  9. What is the third book, The Trophy Girl, about?

    The Trophy Girl is a re-working of Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier but with horses instead of a boat.

  10. What are you working on now?

    I'm working on The Trophy Girl as it doesn't have to be delivered just yet but I've a couple of ideas for another two girls bubbling away in the background.

  11. What is the toughest test you've faced as an author?

    Being the captain of the Romantic Novelists' Association team on University Challenge - the Professionals. The theme music still bring me out in goose bumps. I'm pleased to say we got to the grand final which isn't bad!

  12. How has being part of the RNA helped you?

    The RNA is the most fantastic organisation for support and networking. Also we're the only group of professional authors (that I know about) who actively encourage unpublished writers. And we have a good track record of getting a good few that elusive contract each year. It's really wonderful when that happens.

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