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Kate Anthony grew up in the Midlands. On graduating, she began working as a residential social worker firstly with young offenders and later with vulnerable adults. She then joined the BBC, working as a producer in comedy for some years before moving to an independent production company as a drama producer. She lives close to Brighton with her family.
Below is a Q&A with this author.
You explore various themes in your novel Beautiful Day, such as the many repercussions of divorce, the challenges of being a parent and the bureaucracy of social services. Which were the most difficult themes to write about?
It was hard writing about Rachel’s short fuse around her children. Describing Rachel at her lowest ebb, taking her misery out on her children was a challenge; as soon as there is a child in a scene it is very difficult to keep sympathy with a character that is yelling, no matter what the extenuating circumstances are.
The theme of divorce – the impact it has on the children from the marriage, how it can change the financial situation of one or both partners and how a person can lose their sense of self and purpose through a marriage breakdown – is explored in detail in your novel. Did you find this theme interesting to write about and was it difficult to tackle any aspects of it?
Again, the hardest parts to write were the scenes when Rachel’s bitterness and exhaustion got the better of her. I wanted to put a footnote saying ‘Bear with her. Honestly, this isn’t like her.’ I suppose the aspect of Rachel’s break up that I found the most interesting to write, was that of recovery; of her realisation that by just keeping her head down, waiting it out and trying to keep doing the right thing no matter what, her strength would return. Plus, her accepting that one black day where you let yourself down and it all goes pear-shaped, is OK, it doesn’t mean you’ve irrevocably lost the plot and that you can’t make amends. I was also interested in looking at how the means to healing can come from the most unlikely of places.
As a working mother yourself, did your own experiences help you when writing about the challenges Rachel faces?
Yes, although my biggest fear is being beaten up by my friends who are PTA Reps. Who, I hasten to add, bear no resemblance to Rebecca.
You spent some time working in social services. How much of your own experience did you draw on when exploring this theme in Beautiful Day? Did you meet anyone like Philip? And did you ever work with anyone like Denise?
Of course, I drew heavily on my time as a Residential Social Worker. Especially when I was with an agency because you would get a phone call in the morning and be sent off to do a couple of shifts here, a week there and you got to see all sorts of different set-ups and meet a real mixture of people. Philip is probably an amalgamation of some of the residents that I got closest to and Denise an extreme version of the colleagues that I didn’t! In the main, the group homes that I found myself in were warm, friendly places to be but some weren’t, and those are the ones that have stayed with me and that I wanted to write about.
Rachel, to her surprise, finds love again with Rob – a man very different from her first husband Dom. Do you think she would have fallen for a man like Rob had she met him before Dom? Do you think people look for something different in a partner later in life?
Although at first glance Rob is a very different character from Dom, he probably embodies the qualities Rachel thought Dom possessed for all those years – only to find he didn’t. If my husband ran off with a Deborah tomorrow, initially I might crave a very public fling with a ski instructor half my age, but ultimately, I think I would end up looking for the same qualities that drew me to my husband before it all went wrong – plus the ski instructor might have me arrested. But then again I didn’t marry till I was in my thirties and so things might be very different if you marry when you are young and you may not have the same perspective and priorities. I think we tend to believe that if you lose a partner in later life or after the trauma of a divorce, you are more likely to settle for companionship and comfort, but in reality marriage or a partnership is such a massive commitment and takes up so much of your emotional energy, that embarking on it just to have someone to help with the washing up is probably pretty rare.
April 2014 Debut of the Month. A gorgeously generous, warm-hearted read, which will hold your hand as you face a poignant wave of emotions. Take in Rachel’s everyday reality, a reality where she is desperately trying to wrest back control of her household, her emotions, her life. The author encourages you to actively care about Rachel and her extended family, you urge her to succeed and noisily cheer her on as she tackles each obstacle placed (and sometimes hurled) in her path. The descriptions, particularly of the Care Home residents, are so vivid and eloquent you can see, hear and sometimes even smell each character. With some genuine, laugh out loud moments to be had along the way, this book is a little treasure! In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.
An enjoyable book that helps to bring counselling into the 21st century. Kate and DeeAnna have played a significant role in the development of online therapy and their enthusiasm for the subject matter, and experience as trainers and practitioners, comes through in this informative text. Terry Hanley, Director of MA in Counselling, University of Manchester The plethora of online services now available has led to a growing demand for practitioners to look beyond traditional face-to-face therapy and take advantage of the flexibility which email and the Internet can offer them and their clients. This guide gives up-to-the minute information and research, ethical and legal advice, on the practicalities of setting up or joining a service, and the essential therapeutic skills needed to be an effective online therapist. Writing for an international audience, the authors discuss the issues for practitioners using the Internet today, as well as in the future. Basing their study on published empirical research, they address: - text-based therapeutic interventions such as email, Internet Relay Chat and forums, from the perspective of different theoretical orientations, illustrated with a full length case study - new Ethical Framework for using Technology in Mental Health - online supervision, online research; group therapy online - the business of setting up in private practice or e-clinics - other therapeutic uses of technology including use of video therapy, mobile SMS, telephone therapy, Virtual Reality environments, gaming and computerised CBT. The authoritative guide to all aspects of being an online therapist, this practical text is a vital addition to any therapist's library. It will also be valuable reading for anyone training to be a counsellor or psychotherapist in our increasingly 'electronic' world.