“I absolutely hated daytime television and I wanted to do something proactive with my brain,” says author and mum-of-two Katerina Diamond. So with a toddler in tow, she began writing crime fiction novels…
I currently live on the east coast of Kent in a town called Ramsgate. It’s a bit rundown and has seen better days (but that was a while back; in the Victorian era). I’ve been married to my husband for almost ten years now and we have two children together: a son, 17, who is in the middle of his A levels and a daughter, 11, who is just about to go to secondary school.
I have been writing since my son was a toddler. I absolutely hated daytime television and I wanted to do something proactive with my brain. When my son was young we were living in the spare room of my then boyfriend’s parents’ house in east London and I had no family of my own there. I tried writing several screenplays and some short stories. My son got older and we moved to Kent, had a daughter and through it all I kept writing.
Before becoming a writer, I worked for the employment service on a finance team. Having children made it very difficult to work full time, especially in London where all my salary was going on childcare – so I gave up work when my son was a year old.
Most of the challenges around writing with small children have been financial – without bringing in an income it’s been tough. I wanted to be at home for the children. School pick-ups and drop-offs are time-consuming as I don’t drive and I tried to get a part time job but I couldn’t find one.
Why I write crime fiction…
I write crime fiction because I like the puzzle, I enjoy figuring out how to make a multi-stranded plot tie together. I also enjoy reading thrillers, watching thrillers. I like to be tricked and teased, make my brain work for it. I try to make my books challenging, morally if nothing else. It’s important for me to be faced with a moral conundrum within a story and maybe even change perspective because of it… those are the tales I like the most.
I tend to work from the moment I wake up. I grab a drink and check social media and provided I don’t get sucked into the internet I start writing (easier said than done). I have been working from the corner of my bedroom, which means both my work and my bedroom suffers. I realised recently that I was in my bedroom for roughly 17 hours a day and decided to make a change as it was making me crazy. A crazy Kat is an unproductive Kat. So, I set about finding a space for hire to write in. I found one and soon I might even buy a desk and put it in there.
Balancing motherhood and writing
In September, my youngest starts secondary school, so the school run is a thing of the past for me, I can’t even begin to express how excited I am about this. After 13 years of backwards and forwards I finally get those lost hours back.
As a stay-at-home parent, I find that my own time exists in chunks and that makes it hard to just get into the flow of writing some days, always waiting for the next time I have to go out and get the kids or cook or wash something. My new office is near my daughter’s secondary school and so we can walk part of the way together – which means i’ll be able to work from 9-4 every day without interruption (or internet).
The advantages are that I get to work at my own pace, I am my own boss and I can dress however I want. I’ll probably keep a spare set of slippers in the office. I really don’t feel that I have anything to complain about. I feel very lucky at the moment.
My career goals are basically to keep doing what I am doing. I want to continue writing the DS Imogen Grey books until everyone gets sick of them and maybe also venture into some other areas of crime fiction.
Family goals are to buy a house, we’re renting at the moment. I would also like for my kids to get through the rest of school largely unscathed and stay out of prison for the foreseeable future. And I’d like for us to travel more as a family. I am Greek/English/Cypriot and my husband is Anglo-Indian/Burmese so we would like to visit those countries with our children at some point.
As I said before, I just feel so privileged to be in the position that I am. Most of all I look forward to writing more books and seeing how they are received by people. Now, I must get back to writing…