Stylist winner pens this summer’s must-read

In October, Kate Griffin, fought off hundreds of talented would-be writers to win Stylist’s search for a crime fiction star competition with Faber and Faber. Six months and 85,000 words later, her absorbing Victorian tale Kitty Peck And The Music Hall Murders is set for release in July (and even we don’t know how it ends).

What has the writing process been like?

When I won Stylist’s competition in October, I’d written 6,000 words. Hannah Griffiths, my publisher at Faber, asked me to go away and write as much as I could by Christmas so I hammered out 45,000 words. I’ve just finished the second half of the book and now I’m working on Hannah’s edits. The book even has a cover now which makes it all the more real.

Do you have to pinch yourself to believe you’re finally going to be a published author?

Yes! When I go to meetings at Faber and Faber I look up at pictures of TS Eliot and WH Auden and think: ‘Oh dear, am I an imposter?’ Hopefully the answer is no.

When do you find the time to write?

I have a busy job as a communications manager for a heritage charity so I fit it in at weekends. I write in my dining room with Radio 4 Extra playing and plenty of biscuits and coffee to hand.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Accept that you have to make sacrifices. I don’t see my friends much at the moment and my husband and I didn’t go away for his birthday like usual. But they understand. This has been my ambition for years so it’s worth it.

Pre-order your copy of Kitty Peck And The Music Hall Murders (£7.99, Faber and Faber) at Out 4 July