Katherine Pringle grew up in Northern Ireland, but left at eighteen to study Graphic Design in London. She fell into publishing without really planning to, but it turned out to be the ideal career for her: she loves working with books and is happiest when she’s surrounded by shelves and shelves of them – the older the better. For the past fifteen years, she’s worked as a Designer for publishers such as Rough Guides, Macmillan and Barefoot Children’s Books. She also has an MA in English Literature with the Open University. She still thinks of Northern Ireland as home, and the Mourne Mountains are the inspiration for a lot of her writing. Katherine lives in Surrey with her husband and two young daughters.
As a child, Katherine wrote all the time: short stories, the beginnings of novels, diaries. When she was fourteen she finished one of those novels, which her Dad printed and bound for her – she still has it in her bookshelf. A few years ago she returned to her dream of writing and began working on short stories. She loves that writing gives her the ability to conjure up alternative realities where anything is possible. In 2016, her short story Athry Lake won the Fabula Press Short Story Contest and was published last year in their Aestas Anthology. Misper, inspired by Nelly the Surrey Search and Rescue Wonderdog, is her second story to be published, and she’s currently working on a ghostly mystery novel.
Q: What is the first book you remember reading, or being read to as a child?
A: Reading was a big part of my childhood, but I especially remember my mum reading us John Masefield’s magical The Box of Delights when I was eight – it’s still a Christmas favourite.
Q: Do you have a lucky writing talisman? If so, what is it?
A: When I achieve something in my writing – a publication, the first draft of a novel – I open a bottle of fizz, keep the cork and write the achievement on it and the date. I have these corks lined up by my desk like they’re saying: ‘See what you can do, keep going.’
Q: What superpower would you like to have and why?
A: When I was about seven I read Roald Dahl’s The Magic Finger and I remember wishing that, like the girl in the story, I could point at people who crossed me and turn them into ducks. Many years later, I still sometimes wish I had that power!