Thursday 29 October 2015

Author Interview: Q&A with Bekki Pate

I found a female horror author to be so unusual that I just had to do a special Q&A feature with Bekki Pate.  Many thanks to Bekki for putting aside some time to answer my questions and if you haven't read The Willow Tree yet, make sure you pop over to Amazon to pick up this spine tingling book for Halloween.

Q: What inspired you to write The Willow Tree?

A: I have always written stories – my first attempt at a proper novel ended up in the bin – it was awful – this was my second attempt. I wanted to write a story that I would want to read, with strong characters, pushing the boundaries of what I found scary and horrific.

Q: How long did it take you to write The Willow Tree?

A: Altogether, probably around seven years – there were gaps though as I attended university and had my first full time job. Because of these gaps, it went through many different transformations, finally ending up the way it is now. This was good in a way as I developed a completely different writing style over the years, and the gaps where I left it made me realise, when I came back to it, which parts were atrocious and needed fixing.

Q: Do you find that the next book in the trilogy is easier to write now that you have the foundation for the story or is The Willow Tree the yardstick by which all future books shall be measured?

A: I made a silly mistake when writing book number two – I wrote it in a non-linear way and so half-way through I got completely confused and had to go back over and over to correct mistakes. The lesson I learned was to write things linearly – some writers can write different parts of the story in whatever order they want, but unfortunately I'm not one of them.

Q: When did you decide to write a trilogy? Did the idea come all at once or did it grow as the story progressed?

A: I think I always wanted to write a trilogy – it gave me chance to spread the whole story out and not rush through it in one book. Plus it leaves the readers wanting more, and my books can become something of a collection rather than a one time story.

Q: It's so unusual to see a female author in the horror genre. Who were your main author influences and do you have a favourite book of theirs?

A: When I was growing up I absolutely adored Goosebumps and Point Horror – these books were my initial influences, and later on it became Stephen King and Richard Laymon. I find writing horror so much more exciting than any other genre, and I find I'm better at it.
I would have to say that Stephen King is my favourite author – an obvious choice I know, but he writes in such a gripping way, as though he's talking to you, and telling the story that way, rather than on a page. 'Lisey's story' is one of my favourites – it did start slow and I thought I wouldn't like it, but it soon grew creepier and creepier until I ended up checking my bedroom for monsters before going to sleep.

Q: Who is your favourite character, good or evil, in The Willow Tree and why?

A: I really like Nick – he's so flawed and such a pleasure to write. He appears in all my books in some way and the transition from what he is now, to what he becomes by the end of the third book (and he actually appears in a fourth book I'm writing currently!) is something I am very proud of.

Q: I enjoy watching the tv show Supernatural, and mentioned it in my review of The Willow Tree. Was The Willow Tree influenced by Supernatural, or any other tv show or film?

A: It wasn't actually influenced by Supernatural, but the similarities are interesting! I only realised this when I started watching Supernatural and thinking 'wow, I have that in my story! Oh, and that too!” My TV influence is definitely Buffy The Vampire Slayer – I was (and still am) obsessed by this TV series; I don't think a series has gripped me in such a way since.

Q: What are your writing routines?

A: My writing routines used to be after work and at the weekends, I would plan out a few chapters in advance and then write those chapters, giving myself deadlines. Now, I write whenever I have a spare half hour or so, as my 12 week old daughter takes up most of my time!

Q: When you're not writing, what do you enjoy doing?

A: Spending time with my daughter and my partner – my family are the most important thing in my life. Apart from that I am a huge book nerd – I would love to lock myself away for a while sometimes with a pile of books, and just read.

Q: Finally, the question that everyone will ask after reading The Willow Tree: when can we expect the next book in the trilogy?

A: It's out on 20th November, both in ebook and print! For updates, you can follow my facebook page:

About the Author

Bekki Pate was born and raised in Nottingham, but currently lives in Wolverhampton with her partner. She works in clinical trials within the NHS, and in her spare time she is an avid reader. She has recently given birth to her first daughter and is enjoying the precious time spent with her during maternity leave. She tries to read a wide variety of books, from horror to romance, but her favourite author is Stephen King; whom she considers to be an absolute genius. She enjoys being close to the famous Cannock Chase; as it's where she goes for a bit of peace and quiet, as well as inspiration for new stories.

Read my review of The Willow Tree here
Buy The Willow Tree from Amazon here


  1. Brilliant review. I love to read about other authors, of where and how they get their inspiration. I'm an avid reader and also a huge fan of Stephen King – although my debut novel couldn't be any further removed from horror – well, except the horror of teenage daughters that is! I'm now very intrigued and would like to read The Willow Tree which is very unfortunate for me as I am currently trying to write my second novel and snatch small moments of time in between to read Stephen King's 11.22.63 – have you seen the size of that book? Oh well, Christmas is fast approaching and I've now found another book to put on my Christmas wish list.

    1. Thanks for visiting my blog, Eva! I have 11.22.63 in my reading queue but thankfully on my ereader so I can't be put off by its gargantuan appearance. I hope you enjoy The Willow Tree. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in Bekki's trilogy. I can't wait to read your next book too!