Monday, 30 April 2012

Every Step of the Way with Kit Domino

Please meet my wonderful guest, kit Domino, author of Every Step of the Way, and enjoy a slice of Bailey's Cheese cake, a glass of sherry and chuckling half hour!

Peggy: ‘Welcome to my little interview studio, I’ve had a Bailey’s Cheesecake made for you as I know you have soft spot for this scrummy cake. So whilst you’re tucking in, do tell me is Kit your real name?’
Kit: Cutting a large slice of cheesecake. ‘Thank you for this, I can smell there’s plenty of Baileys and I won’t ask who told you about my little weakness, because I can guess. But as for my name, it wasn’t the name I was given at birth, no, but it’s the one most people know me by. Even my own daughter calls me Kit. I’m an unusual person so the name has to fit the persona, wouldn’t you agree? Then again, I suppose I do write sagas among other genres, so I could equally have called myself Gertie Gusbucket. That’s what my husband christened me, but my agent didn’t like it. She’s not my agent now.’
Peggy: Laughing out loud. ‘Gertie Gusbucket, now that is a name to conjure up, I take it you’re still married to Mr G then?
Kit: Smiling. ‘He’s a dear really.’
Peggy: Shuffling pagers on her lap. ‘Sorry about this I’ve been told by my producer to have notes. They’re a waste of time as I get in such a muddle, but she won’t listen, anyway let’s press on. I know you love painting and thank you for this lovely one you’ve brought (* we could add a pic here to show off your paintings), but before I get to grips with your paint strokes, tell me about your new book.
Kit: Waving her arms at a camera man who is holding up the painting. ‘So pleased you like the painting. It will look lovely hanging on the wall over there. No, to the left a bit more. That’s it. Smashing. I said it would look lovely there.’
Peggy: Turning and admiring the painting. ‘You’re so right, now on to your book.’
Kit: ‘Arrh yes, my novel Every Step of the Way. It’s a rather poignant story of one young girl’s fight against the ways of the world when she’s left holding the baby, following a tragic incident during the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The book is more than just a story though. It’s an account of the social history of the 1950s, the culture, the youth, music, laws and bigotry of the era. We readily forget in today’s free society that things weren’t always as good, and people, especially women, had nowhere near the rights and freedom of choice that they have today.’
Peggy: Shacking her head. ‘Tell me about it, I can see we’re both from an era where we know just how lucky lasses are today. Do I take it that this is your first book?’
Kit: Eating a forkful of cheesecake. ‘This is just perfect. ‘But back to my book. It’s the first one to be published but it certainly isn’t the first I’ve written. There are several others waiting to be thrust out into the big wide world. I’d written two complete novels and one half-started before Every Step, and have written two and half since. Plus there’s several more spinning about in my head. Either that, or this sun is having an effect on me. I’m not used to it. Do you mind if I move further into the shade? Thanks. Oops, mind your bag, I nearly tripped over it. Silly me.’
Peggy: ‘It’s not usual for me to have my studio in such an exotic place, but a celeb I met some time ago invited me to their little pad in the sun, hence why I thought you’d enjoy it too. You’re a sun seeker, I can tell. It say’s here that you are published with ThornBerry Publishing, I hear there are a new company, what made you consider them?’
Kit: Placing her empty plate onto the low table top. ‘They’re purely an Ebook publisher, new, independent, innovative and wanting to change how things are done and perceived in the publishing world. It’s a concept I like. ThornBerry are different because they really care about the books they publish. They give authors whose work doesn’t fit in to the normal genre brackets a chance. The paperback version of Every Step of the Way is published through the Arts Council funded scheme, so I’ve got the best of both worlds. That doesn’t happen to me very often.’
Peggy: ‘I see you’ve enjoyed that cake, not something we had back in the 1950s, Victoria sponge if we were lucky, so why the 1950s? I admit to being glad that they are confined to history, well that was until I started reading your book?’
Kit: Pensive. ‘Good question, Peggy. It was more by chance than any other factor. I was writing a sequel to a contemporary paranormal and trying to find a way to get my characters to move away from London when I happened upon an article in a newspaper concerning the Great Smog of 1952 – and like a great fog lifting, there was the storyline. The paranormal emerged from the gloom reborn as a 1950s historical romance. A lot of good things were born in the 1950s (including me, ha ha). It was the time of Britain beginning again after World War II, of youth culture, the pop charts. It was story begging to be told.’
Peggy: Clapping her hands together. ‘Indeed I remember the decade well, though a tad older than you my dear, though not by much! Let’s see, the cover of your book is different than most I’ve seen and believe you me, I’ve seen a few over the decades, is it one of your paintings?’
Kit: Crossing her legs at the ankles. ‘My, you do have a keen eye, Peg. I didn’t’ want my book to look like all the rest of the sagas, certainly not Agas and clogs and shawls. The 1950s were not like that, least not the part where I came along, especially in London. And as my book is set in West London, it makes it rather different to the normal run of the mill sagas set in the East End. I wanted my book cover to be different. Unique. Many of my paintings are of bluebells, they’re the most popular I sell, there’s even several hanging up in somewhere in Germany, a reminder of good old Blighty for the owners. Bluebells play a part in Every Step, a pivotal part of the story.’
Peggy: Looking across at a small cabinet. ‘As we are this point in our chat, now the cheesecake has gone, let’s have a sherry and then tell me about why painting instead of something more useful like gardening?’
Kit: Reaching out. ‘I thought you were never going to offer. Chilled, is it, the sherry? I do like mine chilled. Thank you. Bottoms Up! Right, you were saying…? You’ve never seen my back garden, Peg, have you? I spend a great deal of time in it and not just reading and slurping G&Ts. Oh no. I do a fair bit of gardening too. I love flowers, and the birds that come there. No, my garden’s a riot of colour and sanctuary of tranquillity. But you can’t garden when it’s pi.. – oops nearly said something naughty there; this sherry’s loosened my tongue a bit. Here, you’re not trying to get me drunk, are you, to get me to tell you my real name? No, I love gardening, even weeding, but you can’t do it when it’s pouring with rain and blowing gales or during the winter. A fair weather gardener, me. So, when the weather’s inclement, I dons my beret, whip out the paints and brushes and do some creativity therapy landscape painting. It’s either that or shopping and I loathe shopping.  I haven’t been painting long, about four years now. I didn’t know I had it in me. That was how my name came about actually; there was already a well-known landscape artist in America who has my real name.’  
Peggy: Finishing the remains in her glass. ‘You know, we do have something in common, apart from our love of a tipple or two of sherry,  we are both connected with that lovely author’s group Famous Five Plus, I’m their celeb interviewer and you are a special Friend, I’m unsure what that means, you make cakes or something?’
Kit: A knowing look crossing her face. ‘Yup, you’ve got it one, Peggy! I bake cakes. Chocolate ones, sponge cakes, coffee cakes, Black Forest gateaux, fruitcakes. Well, I would, wouldn’t I, being an old fruitcake myself.  I was going to bring one along today for you, as a special treat, but my arms were full carrying that there painting. Seriously, it’s rather nice being a Friend. It makes you feel special. Mmm, this is a nice drop of sherry. Bit of a connoisseur on sherry, are you? Cheers, yes, I don’t mind if I do. Certainly nothing like that Emva Cream we had back in the 1950s.’ 

Every Step of the Way
Amazon com
Barnes & Noble
Web Site
Twitter: @KitDomino


  1. Great interview, Peggy and Kit. Having grown up during the 50's, 'Every Step of the Way' really appeals to me.

  2. Thank you, Paula. Do hope the brings back lots of nice memories for you. And thank you, Peggy. You do have a way of wheedling info people. Enjoy the painting!