In this episode of our Two for Tea podcast, editor-in-chief Iona Italia talks to Kat Rosenfield about her novel, You Must Remember This and about nostalgia, suspense and the process of writing.
The episode is also available on Spotify here; for iTunes here; and on most podcast apps. Areo patrons receive earlier access to the podcast. Become a patron here.
Kat’s latest novel, You Must Remember This, from Harper Collins.
Kat’s website katrosenfield.com/
Kat’s novels available here katrosenfield.com/books/
Kat’s writing for Unherd unherd.com/author/kat-rosenfield/ and for Spectator World thespectator.com/author/kat-rosenfield/
Feminine Chaos podcast femchaospod.substack.com/
Iona’s guest appearance on Feminine Chaos femchaospod.substack.com/p/mad-about-…boys#details
Kat’s previous appearances on Two For Tea:
Twoforteapodcast – 106-kat-rosenfield-mistress-of-murder
Twoforteapodcast – 68-kat-rosenfield-dating-in-the-digital-age
The writer Rebeca Christiansen at Areo areomagazine.com/author/rachristiansen/ and her appearance on the podcast: Twoforteapodcast – 86-rebecca-christiansen-making-mayhem
00:00 Opening and introductions.
03.24 Iona reads a passage from Kat’s new novel.
15.14 Kat and Iona discuss what made Kat pivot to adult novels from her previous Young Adult titles. How Kat’s characters got older and their stories developed darker, more adult themes.
17.18 What led Kat to write for teenagers. Her work as a journalist for MTV and writing at the time of huge successes such as Twilight and The Hunger Games. She and Iona discuss what was available to younger readers in their own teens. The coming-of-age novels that felt more advisory than instructive, such as Judy Blume titles. Iona’s enjoyment of Austen, Tolkien, memoirs and diaries.
26.50 Iona and Kat talk about how women are drawn to reading and writing true crime and murder mystery. How murder mystery novels require the reader’s attention and allow us to experience danger at a safe distance.
36.00 The blandness and anachronism of some modern romance writing and screen writing.
38.00 The two timelines in Kat’s new novel; Miriam’s last Christmas, set in the present, and the other in her youth.
39.59 Iona reads a passage in which young Miriam plays hide and seek.
47.18 How Kat got into writing, 15 years ago.
49.08 Iona asks if the YA fiction scene became too restrictive in terms of social justice and the “own voices” movement. How YA publishing lends itself to moral panic. The way in which that can be misused for reasons of professional jealousy and how the phenomenon is hopefully on its way out.
55.00 Can reading be harmful? Kat relays a story of her own unpleasant experience reading Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk. How conflating discomfort with harm shuts off the chance for growth and resilience.
1.03.24 Maine as a setting for Kat’s books. Her influences including Stephen King, Daphne du Maurier and Shirley Jackson.
1.06.45 Thanks and outro.
Sound engineering by Justin Ward
Shownotes by Nicola Muir