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Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Interview: Kathryn Hodgson - #WriterlyWednesdays 7

Today I am very pleased to welcome Kathryn Hodgson to my blog to talk about herself, her great book "No Damage" and why she wrote it.

Kathryn Hodgson - Author Interview

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

Sure. I’m from England and have a huge passion for writing, travel, scuba diving, sharks and anything ocean related. I have lived and travelled in various countries and am currently touring New Zealand for six months in a campervan, as part of a world charitable tour for my marine conservation cause Friends for Sharks. It’s a really exciting time for me right now. I have always loved books and I first started writing on the beaches of Cornwall as a child. I spent many an hour perched on a rock whilst scribbling poems and I still have that book of poems tucked away safely at home.

2. Tell us about your book(s). 

No Damage is my first book and I am so proud to call it my work after the love and work I poured into it. It took me one and a half years to write it and it was both exciting and also terrifying putting my story out there! I wanted to ‘bare all’ and talk about topics that are often taboo in our societies whilst also bring a sense of adventure and inspiration to what was a rollercoaster chapter of my life. I am a huge believer in the power of positive thinking and speaking up to shed light on life’s highs and lows. We all need to feel less alone and more like we can make a difference to this world. I hope I have achieved that in No Damage.

3. What inspired you to start writing in your particular genre?

When I was in the midst of living the story  I talk about in No Damage, I couldn't find a book that would make me feel less ashamed of what my life had become, comfort me, inspire me onwards and also make me laugh out loud during the tough times. I decided the only way to tackle that and to help other people in the future would be to write the book myself and so I did. My aim was, and still is, to inspire others and make people realise it is possible to overcome the worst of times if you just keep smiling, keep believing and put your energy into whatever makes you truly come alive.

4. Do you have a favourite section(s) from your book(s)? Why?

Every single moment with my personal favourite characters, The Bears! They are the loves of my life and the most hilarious and ridiculous Airedale terriers I have ever known. I am smiling as I recall the stories within No Damage about their antics. I am not so sure I enjoyed being dragged through the dirt on my face by them or attempting to bribe them away from the trouble they got into with numerous blocks of cheese but still, it adds to life’s richness. In my opinion, they are the true heroes of my story!

5. Do you have any advice for other writers?

Never give up and always offer life a smile. That is my advice for all everyone. This life is a precious gift and we are each born with unique talents. It is our job to pursue those talents and passions and share them with the world. If that is writing, fantastic, but whatever it is don’t give up. Be brave, ignore your fears and share your work. Life is too short to hold yourself back and the world desperately needs more happy people doing what they love.

6. Is there any other type of book you would like to write as well?

I have so many types of book I would like to write and I am focussing my energies on writing my first novel and also an adventure travel book at the moment. The travel book will become the sequel to No Damage and will detail my adventures across the globe since those times. It will also have some stunning photography by my partner Nicholas Curzon.

7. Do you have any odd (writing) habits?

Just the one odd writing habit and that is my pink, woolly writing hat. I always like to wear my pink hat when writing, which was quite uncomfortable in the South African sun. It puts me in the right zone; I can hide away from the world under my hat and let the creativity flow. I do also like to accompany my writing with a pot of good tea and, when possible, marmalade on toast. Heaven.

8. Are you a dog or a cat person, why?

I like both but I am definitely a dog person. I really admire their attitude to life and ability to love unconditionally. Dogs wag their tails in happiness each day, they run around without a care in the world (even when injured), they forgive us no matter our mood, they eat with gusto and they are always our best friends. What is not to love?!

About the Book

No Damage is an inspiring and uplifting look at one woman’s journey to survive two runaway grooms whilst coping with cancer, the loss of her career and more.

Kathryn’s optimistic tale of hope, adventure travel and an unexpected stint in a South African prison explores how, as a single 30-something woman with just one suitcase and a head full of emotional baggage, she conquered her fears to pursue her passions.

This memoir is both a hilarious true story of the power of positive thinking and a self help guide to overcoming loss, following you heart and creating the life you want.

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About the Author

Kathryn Hodgson was born in Leamington Spa, England in 1979 and grew up exploring the rock pools and beaches of Cornwall. She attended Plymouth and St Andrews universities, where she studied Ecology and Environmental Biology and discovered her love of travel by visiting the rainforests of Brunei and sharks of South Africa. After university she worked in various roles including at a salmon hatchery in Wales, monitoring the quality of Shropshire's rivers, auditing hospital hazardous waste streams in Cornwall and responding to emergency pollution and flood incidents.

Every spare penny was spent traveling to see sharks around the globe and Kathryn eventually followed her passions to become a Great White Shark wildlife guide in South Africa and to train as a scuba diving instructor in Egypt. She rediscovered her love of writing during her travels and is the author of No Damage (December 2014), a guest writer for scuba diving and travel blogs, a public speaker and co-founder of the marine conservation cause Friends for Sharks (August 2014). She is passionate about using her voice for positive change and can currently be found on a 10 month global and charitable World Tour for Sharks

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