I grew up in England and the US, and then lived in Sydney, Australia for more than 20 years, working as a book, magazine and web editor and writer. I’ve more than two decades of publishing experience and am the former editor of Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine.
I had always written – terrible poetry, short stories and angst-ridden diaries – and have an enduring love of books and stories. I remember being so hungry for words that I would scour the cereal packets over breakfast and prowl my parents’ bookshelves in search of something new to read.
At boarding school, I read my way through the junior library before being given special permission to read from the senior library – and went from pony books to Solzhenitsyn and John Wyndham. Discovering Jilly Cooper is one of the abiding happy moments of my teenage years.
Ironically, when I changed jobs, it was almost always in pursuit of more writing, until finally I gathered my courage and began to write fiction.
I am the author of Rose’s Vintage (2016), and Angel’s Share (2017), both set in the lush vineyards of the imaginary Australian Shingle Valley.
Rose’s Vintage and Angel’s Share are both available as audio books on Audible. Both books have also been published in Germany by Piper Verlag, and Rose’s Vintage has been published in Poland.
The Botanist’s Daughter is set in Cornwall, Chile and Sydney, and was a top ten bestseller when it was published in Australia in July 2018. It was published in 2019 in Italy (where it was a top 10 bestseller), Germany, France, Serbia, Lithuania and Spain, as well as in the UK.
My new novel, The Forgotten Letters of Esther Durrant, was inspired in part by the few fragments that I knew of the story of my great-grandmother, Phoebe, who was confined to an asylum in the early part of the twentieth century with post-natal depression. She never left.
It was published in Australia in June 2019 and was a top 10 Australian fiction bestseller, and will be published in the UK by Orion in early 2020, and in the US and Canada by William Morrow in early 2020, and in the Netherlands and Italy later that year.
My next novel – a ghost story set in 18th-century London and Wiltshire – will be published in Australia 2020.
I believe that stories circulate in the ether and if you are receptive, they will tap you on the shoulder and start whispering in your ear. The writer’s job is then to do the story justice.
I now live in the Northern Rivers of NSW and am also a mother to two girls. When not writing, reading or ferrying them around I can be found in the kitchen, procrasti-baking.
I love nothing more than a generous slice of warm cake, a cup of tea, a comfortable place to sit and a good book to read!
Two incredibly likeable, headstrong heroines . . . watching them flourish is captivating. With these dynamic women at the helm, Kayte weaves a clever tale of plant treachery involving exotic and perilous encounters in Chile, plus lashings of gentle romance. Compelling storytelling
“The riveting story of two women, divided by a century in time, but united by their quest to discover a rare and dangerous flower said to have the power to heal as well as kill. Fast-moving and full of surprises, The Botanist’s Daughter brings the exotic world of 19th century Chile thrillingly to life.”