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Katherine Pathak #books in order

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I realize this looks like an incredibly self-indulgent topic for a blog, but I know that people Google this question and don’t necessarily get the information they are looking for. If I blog it, then the list will be more accessible in searches, so please indulge me!

The Imogen and Hugh Croft Mysteries:

Aoife’s Chariot

The Only Survivor

Lawful Death

The Woman Who Vanished

Memorial For The Dead

The Ghost Of Marchmont Hall

The DCI Dani Bevan Novels:

Against A Dark Sky

On A Dark Sea

A Dark Shadow Falls

Dark As Night

The Dark Fear

Girls of the Dark

If you have any questions on the order of the books or the nature of the two series, please private message me through my Facebook Author page.

Best Wishes

Katherine x

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Home Fires won hands down over Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell in our house

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It’s good to have a healthy head-to-head battle between dramas being played out in the peak slot on a Sunday night. With the shows also available on demand, everyone’s a winner. However, the programme makers still want to capture the live audience, claiming that this initial pull of viewers remains crucial to the drama’s ultimate success.
If this is true, then it was ITV’s Home Fires that won the battle in our house. Last night saw the third instalment of this World War Two drama based on the novel ‘Jambusters’ by Julie Summers, which is a history of the Women’s Institute during wartime. With a strong ensemble cast, this series has gripped from the very start. Sensibly, the programme makers have allowed us to get to know the menfolk just as well as the women of Great Paxford, so that when many of them are finally called up to fight we feel genuine concern for their wellbeing. This series is classic Sunday night telly, but it is beautifully and accurately made. I’ve been talking and blogging a lot about the role of empathy in the writing process recently and Home Fires is a perfect example of the concept in action. War is distilled down to its most human level. We feel acutely the pain of the mother, desperate not to see her only son go off to fight – the 1914-18 conflict having cast a long shadow in her family’s consciousness.
BBC 1 offered up quite contrasting fare with Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, this series being based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Susanna Clarke. Set during the Napoleonic Wars, this supernatural extravaganza catalogues the battle between two ‘practical magicians’, determined to prove their superiority in the dark arts. The production values of this series are superb and for fans of the gothic it is the perfect mix of sorcery and black humour. However, in our house we aren’t fans of gothic fiction or of dark fantasy. My daughter watched the trailer and immediately dismissed it as too much like ‘Atlantis’ or ‘Merlin’. She is very much a realist when it comes to books and drama!
So it was Home Fires who snatched the victory. It better suits our viewing tastes. But it’s great to have a choice. A strong female cast and a heavy dollop of History will always win me over, but from the responses I have read online, it seems to be that wonderful choral score that has been the run away success of the series so far, with many viewers wanting to know how to get hold of the music. The theme tune is bold and beautiful and is probably going to prove the making of the show.

The downside of #writing success: malicious reviews

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I’m going to begin this blog by stating quite categorically that the vast majority of the reading public are lovely. Even if they don’t particularly enjoy your book they will be kind and constructive about it. If someone has taken the time and energy to write a review or add a rating on Amazon or Goodreads it is usually because they have enjoyed what they have read and occasionally have a point to make about some aspect or other.
However, the wider your readership becomes and the more your books sell, you are increasingly likely to come up against a totally different breed of reviewer. I am a reader and a consumer myself and whenever I check out a new title I page down to the customer review section. Even if the novel has tons of four and five star reviews, there are always a good number of ones and twos, their terminology so heaped in vitriol that you imagine this tome must be deeply offensive or flawed in some crucial respect (this percentage goes up as the popularity of the book goes up). Don’t get me wrong, I love the concept of customer reviews, I trust them far more than ‘official’ reviews from newspapers and periodicals – on the whole, the system works.
But every so often, like today for instance, I see a deliberately unpleasant review of one of my nine books that totally misrepresents it and is blatantly unfair. Usually, the person writing adopts a false name and is untraceable, not that I could do much even if they could be traced.
I accept that criticism will come my way as an author. I find constructive criticism really useful when I make corrections and have even re-written entire novels on the basis of a customer’s feedback! I’m also actually getting more used to criticism. I’d have a very short writing career if I didn’t! But sometimes, I do wish there was a come-back or redress for the author. I imagine it is the same for businesses who get malicious reviews online for their services or products. Often, these are posted anonymously and it’s terribly unfair not to be able to challenge them.
All the advice I have read about writing and publishing encourages me to ignore these reviews – rise above it and move on – which I certainly shall. The negativity shouldn’t be allowed to put a writer off penning their next book. You have to keep in mind all those people who have been positive and supportive over the months and years instead. They are the majority of readers, who want to encourage and promote free expression and creativity.
It’s just that sometimes, it would be nice to have a proper right to reply.

‘My name is Katherine, with a ‘K’.’

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Amidst current speculation about a potential name for the new baby princess, I have been considering a different name related issue entirely.
The press coverage of the birth of William and Kate’s new little girl yesterday was difficult to miss and what struck me most from the media reports, as a fellow Katherine, were the variations used in the spelling of the Duchess of Cambridge’s given name. From what I could work out, Her Royal Highness’s full name is Catherine (with a C), which she shortens to Kate (with a K).
This struck me as unusual. I’ve always assumed that only Katherine (with a K) could adopt the diminutive, Kate. Does it really matter? I hear you cry. Well, it doesn’t really, of course. But I find it interesting. Altering the first letter of your name can provide an entirely different feel to the title by which people will come to know you.
The name Catherine (spelt either way) has been popular in Europe for hundreds of years, reaching the peak of its usage in the 1880s. It is a common name given to heroines of romantic fiction, from Shakespeare to Emily Bronte and means ‘pure’ or ‘innocent’. It is also one of those names which has multiple diminutives and very rarely will you find a Katherine who doesn’t refer to themselves as a Cathy or a Kate. There are also plenty of women’s names which are similar to Catherine, and have evolved from the same root such as Kathleen or Caitlin.
Despite the many derivatives and pet names which stem from Katherine, I still believe it is unusual to change the first letter of the name. If the same was done with the name Christopher, for example, substituting the letter ‘K’ for the ‘Ch’, it would create a quite different impression of the man who possessed it, being much more bold and modern.
When I fell out with a friend in sixth form once, a quite pompous boy who had a rather abrasive personality, his complaint against me was that I continued to stubbornly insist that my name was spelt with a ‘K’. He clearly thought this was an extremely irritating affectation that I had adopted. In fact, it had never crossed my mind to spell it in any other way, that was how it appeared on my birth certificate! This chap and I soon forgot our little fall out, but his jibe was firmly fixed in my memory.
Was ‘K’ actually the more subversive letter, sharp and spiky as opposed to its curvy counterpart?
In reality, Catherine is one of those names where the spelling has historically been interchangeable. Look at Henry VIII’s wives, for example. And perhaps, no one is really interested except us Catherines.
Interchangeable or not, I shall continue to refer to myself as Katherine, with a ‘K’, because it’s part of who I am and a change of first letter would feel like a challenge to my identity, somehow.

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