Writing ‘What You Know’Kait Gamble

Hello! I’m Kait Gamble, thanks for having me here today. I come bearing a morsel of writing advice and a little bit about my new release Weathering the Storm.

There is a glut of information and guidance for authors out there and a lot of it is good. You’ve probably heard ‘keep writing’ and ‘read everything’ over and over. Both are great and very good things to do. ‘Write what you know’ is one that I’ve heard quite a bit. This is a great place to start…even when you’re writing fantasy or sci-fi the worlds, the characters, should be based on something real. Concrete. Something that readers will understand and can relate to.

My approach when it comes to keeping ‘write what you know’ in mind is to start with characters that I can relate to. Sometimes they are even based on people I know and, in the case of Weathering the Storm, even myself.

kaitgamble-1I started the story with the very simple question, ‘what if?’ You see, when I was in my mid-teens I had a brief—very innocent—romance with a French exchange student who disappeared after having to leave due to a family emergency. We kept in touch for a little while but back in the days before everyone was using email that was a lot harder for two lazy teens to do. My budding writer’s brain created all kinds of scenarios to explain what had transpired after he stopped writing. What could have happened to him? Where had he gone? There were photos of a European prince floating around at the time who had returned from abroad and was about to get married that had a close resemblance to my missing beau, could that have been him? Hmmm, that last idea is quite promising…

But, I digress.

Weathering the Storm came from with a spark of an idea years ago and a tiny crumb of truth that I built on and turned into the story of Maia and Alex who had a tragic past that have reunited by fate.kaitgamble-3

Their situation starts off similar to mine but then veers drastically in a different direction. Alex disappeared from Maia’s life due to a family emergency leaving her confused and alone. Over the years the feelings turn into hate so when she sees him again she explodes. Only that turns into the catalyst for their reunion. Alex is intrigued by Maia even as he’s sceptical about her appearance in his life while Maia just wants to avoid everything about him. His insistence to learn more about her while she wants to side-step losing herself in him again created conflict that was fun to write and hopefully it’s just as fun to read.

So I guess what I’m saying is there’s always something you can draw from and sometimes a little something from your own life can spark something so much bigger. So start with something you know and then use that as your foundation. You never know what you might end up with.

Thanks for reading and I hope you check out Weathering the Storm!

P.S. If you’re interested, the exchange student and I reconnected a few years ago on Facebook where he gave me a lame excuse as to why he disappeared. Things were definitely much more interesting in my head, but I guess we all can’t be romance authors with crazy scenarios on the brain!


About Kait Gamble:

Kait was born and raised in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest and started writing to entertain herself during the long winters as a child. Insatiably curious with a love of learning new things, she’s picked up many random skills including three languages and two martial arts. After travelling three continents (the other four are on her bucket list), she settled in England with her family where she spends most of her time cultivating her daughter’s love of reading and writing, scribbling ideas on every available scrap of paper, and trying out dialogue on her cat.

Weathering the Storm blurb:WtS Cover

When the storm hits, sometimes the only thing you can do is hang on.

Maia Reynolds is a successful travel writer for one major reason—her entire life is focused on work. Only one man has ever managed to get past her barriers and he’s the reason why she’s closed herself off from everyone else—and she’s just thrown champagne in his face.

Heir to the Girard Group, Alexandre is used to women throwing themselves, not their drinks, at him. He’s intrigued by the beautiful and maddening Maia, but the tale she tells him about their supposed past can’t be true. Can it?

The head trauma he suffered years before has left a blank space in his memory that Maia seems to fill, but he knows she’s hiding something. Until they clear up the past, they won’t be able to build the future that’s beginning to form in his mind.

But will she ever trust him enough to truly open up again?

Excerpt from Weathering the Storm:

Seeing him again had been a huge shock. Being face to face with him had brought back the festering mess of feelings that she’d thought she’d buried a long time ago, and she’d reacted very badly.

He was handsome—he always had been—but he was even more so now. Grown up, Alex made an impact on her senses in a way that his younger self had been just developing. Alexandre Girard’s presence was enough to hush a room and draw gazes. He had the gift of command and he knew how to wield it very well.

His temper hadn’t changed. It took a lot to make him lose his composure and getting doused with champagne by a complete stranger was something that would have pushed just about anyone over the edge. She knew he never forgot a slight, and Maia was pretty sure that she’d managed to put herself on his list with one boneheaded move.

Since the article was supposed to be about the hotel and the Girard Group, Maia fervently hoped that she’d be dealing with the senior Girard more than the younger. Thankfully, because of the champagne flinging, she was pretty sure Alexandre wouldn’t want to spend more time with her than was absolutely necessary. Who would want to be around someone who had done what she had to him?

That was one blessing at least.

Maia flipped over and cut her way through the water. Just doing something physical felt great. It was incredible how seeing one man again had the ability to tense every muscle in her body. The workout helped to relax them a little.

At the other end, she flipped over again, choosing to float on her back to the other side.

“You shouldn’t be down here.”

Shivers skittered down her spine at the deep timbre of his voice. But she refused to let herself believe he had been the cause. She’d just been exposed to the cool night air for too long.

Maia opened her eyes to look up at the unimpressed face of Alexandre. She righted herself and held on to the edge of the pool. “Why? Is this your personal swim time?”

He let her snide comment slide. “Actually, I was more concerned about you being out here without a lifeguard.”

She hated her knee-jerk reaction. It was obviously going to take some time to learn to let things go. Maia gazed at him, refusing to say another word. They stared at each other for a long moment.

“Miss Reynolds, I want a straight answer to this.” He crouched so he could get a good look at her eyes. “Who are you?”

Her attention was caught by the way his trousers pulled taut over his muscular thighs and Maia’s mouth went dry. Lifting her gaze to his eyes only made things worse.

She swallowed. “I’m a writer for Pulse magazine.”

Alex drew a slow breath. “Perhaps you didn’t understand me. I don’t want to know what you do or where you are from. I want to know how you know about my time abroad and what you think happened during it that made you want to waste perfectly good champagne on my shirt.”

Her grip on the ledge tightened. “I’m sorry about that. I apologize. Wholeheartedly.”

He didn’t move, though he nodded in consideration of her words. “Considering you managed to humiliate me in front of family, friends and press for no good reason, I really don’t think you can apologize enough.”

Eyes narrowed, she glared at him. “If you want me to grovel, you’re going to be waiting a very long time.”

He had the gall to look slightly amused at the suggestion. “I don’t expect you to kiss my feet. I just want an explanation.”

Needing space, Maia pushed off from the side to float away from him. Now was as good a time as any. She took a deep breath. “We dated for a year when we were at university together.”

His eyebrows drew together as he processed the information. “And I was such a bad lover that you felt the need to attack me for it nearly a decade later? Try again, Miss Reynolds.”


Love the sound of Weathering the Storm? Get your copy today from Totally Bound Publishing, Amazon and other retailers.


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