Thursday, June 30, 2022

What's on Kate Brook's mind? a book giveaway

Photo by Ellen Dobbs
What are the odds that this week we have two authors named Kate and their last name starts with Bro? Today, we are pleased to have Kate Brook here to talk about her debut novel, Not Exactly What I Had in Mind. Thanks to Dutton, we have TWO copies to give away!

Kate Brook lives and works in London. She has a PhD in French Literature and Visual Art from King’s College London, and a master's in European Literature and Culture from the University of Cambridge. Her short-form writing has been published in The Fiction Pool and The Real Story. Visit Kate on Twitter.


Hazel and Alfie have just moved in together as roommates. They've also just slept together, which was either a catastrophic mistake or the best decision of their lives--they aren't quite sure yet. Whatever happens, they need to find a way to keep living together without too much drama or awkwardness, since neither of them can afford to move out of the apartment.

Then Hazel's sister, Emily, and her wife, Daria, come for a visit, and Hazel's and Alfie’s feelings about each other are pushed to the side in the whirlwind of their arrival. Recently returned from abroad, Emily and Daria are excited for a new life in a new town, and ready to start a family of their own.

As the lives of Hazel, Alfie, Emily, and Daria collide, a complicated chain of events begins to bind them all together, bringing joy and heartache, hope and anxiety, and reshaping their relationships in ways that no one quite predicted. Warm, clever, and devastatingly relatable, Not Exactly What I Had in Mind is by turns funny, heartbreaking, and a painfully true-to-life story about family, friends, and everything in between. (Courtesy of Amazon.)

“I adored this book―fresh, funny and thought provoking, I fell in love with the characters and did not want it to end.” 
―Sophie Cousens, New York Times bestselling author of This Time Next Year and Just Haven’t Met You Yet

“A charming peek inside the messy world of modern dating, blending hard-hitting realities with frivolous fun. Fans of Jamie Brenner and Hannah McKinnon will appreciate Brook's celebration of the chosen family of roommates, coworkers, and friends who provide steady footing in an unstable world.” 

In one sentence, tell us what the road to publishing was like for you?
Exciting, terrifying, an enormous privilege – and surprisingly exhausting!

What were the biggest rewards and challenges with writing Not Exactly What I Had in Mind?
The biggest reward was finding a writing group, quite by chance, when I’d already been working on the novel for a couple of years. Sharing my work with three extremely talented writers and hearing their feedback, encouragement, and constructive criticism, absolutely transformed the process for me. It would have turned out a very different (and vastly inferior) book if I hadn’t had that experience.

The biggest challenge was probably the final stage of the editing process. There were two copy-edits and two proofreads, one each for the US and UK, which meant I had to read the manuscript a further four times after I’d finished working on the main edits. Fitting that around my day job was very tiring – not to mention mildly excruciating, because by that point I was utterly sick of reading my own words. I kept thinking, God this author is annoying! Who’s going to want to read this?!

If Not Exactly were made into a movie, who would you cast in the leading roles?
Excellent question. A colleague of my agent came up with a full cast list shortly after the book was taken on, and honestly, I can’t top it. She suggested Florence Pugh as Hazel, Alfred Enoch as Alfie, Stefanie Martini as Emily, and Antonia Thomas as Daria.

What TV series are you currently binge watching?
When I had Covid recently I binged Ten Percent, the British remake of the French show Call My Agent. I adored the French version and was expecting the remake to pale in comparison, but I ended up loving it.

What is something you had a good laugh about recently?
This video.

If we were to visit you right now, what are some places you would take us to see?
It’s a beautiful day, which is lucky because London is at her best in the sunshine. We’d start off by getting a cinnamon bun and an iced coffee from the bakery downstairs from my flat. Then we’d go for a long walk – I’m lucky to live near the huge swathe of green space that runs alongside the River Lea in east London. We’d amble down the river path in time for lunch and stop by a place where they sell burgers and beer from a boat. After some lounging about on the grass by the water, we’d walk along the Regent’s Canal to Broadway Market and browse the market stalls and indie bookshops there. Then we’d find somewhere with a terrace or a beer garden and settle in for drinks and some dinner.

Thanks to Kate for visiting with us and to Dutton for sharing her book with our readers.

How to win: Use Rafflecopter to enter the giveaway. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us. If you have trouble using Rafflecopter on our blog, enter the giveaway here

Giveaway ends July 5th at midnight EST.

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Mary C said...

No strange living arrangements

traveler said...

I haven't ever had any strange living arrangements.

Nancy said...

I guess the strangest living arrangement I ever had was living in a garage apartment with a roommate.

allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

Mary Preston said...

Nothing strange, always just with family of some variation.

diannekc said...

I've never had any strange living arrangements.

Emily Catan said...

Well, so far, I haven't had any strange living arrangements..I always live either with my family or alone..

penney said...

The strange living arrangements I ever had was sharing a 3 bedroom house with a good friend of mine (femaile) and we were 22 and she was 23. We caught a older woman living out in the garage outback and had her come in take a bath and I wash her clothes as my friend fixed dinner. She was 45 years old her x husband threw her out on the street, We all became good friends and she got a job. She was like a 2nd Mom to both of us.
I'm 66 now and haven't heard from both of them in years.

rubynreba said...

I have not had any strange ones.

bn100 said...


Xia Lee said...

Never had one

Lelandlee said...

Never had one