Kate Morton is the author of six novels, all of which have been New York Times bestsellers, Sunday Times bestsellers, and #1 bestsellers around the world. Her first novel, The House at Riverton, was one of the most successful UK debuts of all time. Kate's books are published in 42 countries, in 34 languages.
Kate's latest novel The Clockmaker's Daughter was published around the world in 2018.
"I started writing because I wanted to recapture the joy of reading as a child. As soon as I learned that the black marks on white pages were doorways, and that it was within my power to go through them (and the back of the wardrobe) whenever I chose to, I was hooked. I read everything that I could get my hands on and could usually be found hiding in a bough of one of the avocado trees in our garden, book in hand. I'm still chasing that feeling of complete immersion, which makes the real world disappear. There are ups and downs as a writer, but when the fictional world starts to live and breathe, there’s nothing like it."
Kate was born in a tiny town in South Australia and moved with her family many times before they settled finally on Tamborine Mountain. There she attended a small country school and spent much of her childhood inventing and playing games of make-believe with her two sisters.
After finishing school, Kate believed for some time that her future lay in theatre. She studied for and earned a Licentiate in Speech and Drama from Trinity College, London and completed a summer Shakespeare course at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. Kate continued to act in community productions whilst completing her Honours and Masters degrees in English Literature, before realising that it was words and storytelling that she loved more than performing.
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"My mum was an antique dealer and she instilled in me a fascination with objects from the past. I can remember wandering around her shop, picking up rusty little tin boxes and old spoons, holding them in my hand and wondering at the many previous lives they'd led before they came to us. In the summer holidays, we would drive from Tamborine to Brisbane to visit my grandmother, and the one hour journey would easily stretch to three as Mum stopped at each of her 'favourite' second-hand shops along the way to hunt for treasure. Thankfully, I could always count on the dark back corner of the shop, where all of the old books had been haphazardly stacked, and where I would be sure to find a new/old Enid Blyton to add to my collection."
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"I have an obsession with houses, both real and fictional. I don't know whether it's because we moved so often when I was small, but for as long as I can remember I've been aware of houses as places that collect memories. I adore the physical aspects - chimneys, attics, dormers, crooked roof lines, odd gables - and also the role of the house as a building in which human lives are led. The first house that I can well remember living in was on the mountain and we called it 'The Black House'. It was surrounded by rainforest, and on the day that we arrived, clouds were drifting through the open windows. In the distance, beyond the trees, were the peaks of another house that my sisters and I were convinced was haunted."
"I love reading to children and am yet to meet a child who doesn't want to be told a story. I have three sons and have read to each of them, and their school classes, over the years. There's something so essential about passing on a treasured story and seeing the same look of transportation on their faces that I remember feeling the first time I went down the rabbit hole. I love illustrated books and also thrill at being part of the 'chapter book' experience, when children realise that their imagination enables them to create pictures in their mind."
"I studied speech and drama when I was growing up, with a wonderful couple who lived near me on the mountain. He was Welsh and she English and although they were many decades older than I was, they became my dear friends, inspiring in me a love of theatre and storytelling. To this day, there are few things I love more than that moment of anticipation, when the house lights go down and the audience draws collective breath."
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