I’m really pleased to have Kate Jacobs, author of Knit the Season, here at Peeking Between the Pages today. I reviewed Knit the Season yesterday and you can see my review here. The Friday Night Knitting Club series is a favorite of mine and I was definitely not disappointed with Knit the Season. I was very glad that she was willing to take the time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for me and I’m going to share that chat with you today.
1. What was your inspiration for this installment of The Friday Night Knitting Club?
KJ: A whole bunch of things coming together at once. For starters, I love the holidays. I’m writing about different traditions but I’m also incorporating touches of my own family celebrations. Also, when I finished Knit Two, I had a real craving to continue with the lives of these women. Add to all of that the realization that I’d never written a winter season in any of my books and frankly, I thought, it was about time. (I have a theory about how I was avoiding winter because I was born in Canada …) But the biggest reason of all was that the characters have really, really earned their happiness. And Knit the Season is overall a happy story about a group of friends who have grown into a family.
2. I really loved how Georgia was written into this novel – in such a way that we get to learn more about her. I know many people who read the series that really miss her – is that why you chose to write her into the story this way – to give us more of a character we love?
KJ: I’m so glad you like Georgia – she’s near and dear to my heart. Although Georgia ’s influence is certainly present in Knit Two, in Knit the Season I tried a different technique and incorporated memory flashbacks. It was something new from a creative perspective. But it was driven from an emotional desire. You’re right on that Georgia is a character whose absence is palpable – I missed her and I hear from readers who miss her. Bringing her “back” in memory flashback is also a way to explore this idea of how we can still be inspired by people who are no longer here in a physical way. We can still learn and grow from experiencing that connection and that love.
3. Are any of the characters of The Friday Night Knitting Club based on anyone you actually know?
KJ: I never aim to start with real people and turn them into characters. But I think we’re all influenced by the world around us, of course. So there is often a little bit of me in all of the characters, and also, on occasion, little quirks shared by real people from my life. For example, Darwin ’s attitude – her worry about domesticity – in FNKC is broadly similar to what I was like in my teens. And Georgia’s Gran in Scotland has much in common, both in appearance and personality, with my own Nanny, who lived to be 99 and was a wonderful knitter, baker, and force in the lives of her grandchildren. So I drew inspiration from remembering her. Writing a character reminiscent of someone from my personal life allows me to feel reconnected, imaginatively, even after that individual has passed away. It’s one of the great gifts of writing.
4. On a more personal note, do you have a special place at home where you settle in and weave these wonderful stories? Are you surrounded by piles of lovely yarn for inspiration?
KJ: I like this idea, you know. Of a perfect space. Because at my desk I’m actually surrounded by piles of paper, printouts of chapters, notes typed and handwritten, and several stickies covered with to-do lists. I do have lovely yarn, and I often knit up a little something that the characters are working on, but while I keep one pretty basket of yarn on the top of my bookshelf, most of the rest is stuffed into dressers and closets and boxes. More yarn than space is my problem!
5. Knit the Season brought many new changes to ladies of The Friday Night Knitting Club yet the hope of more to come. Please tell me that there is another Friday Night Knitting Club novel in the works!!!
KJ: Maybe! I do love the members of the club. Right now I’m working on a new story with new characters called Relativity. When that’s complete, I’ll take a deep breath and figure out what to do next!
I just want to thank Kate for another wonderful, heart warming novel. I laughed and cried – I’ve really grown to love these women and look forward to more.
KJ: Thank you, Darlene!