Monday, October 22, 2012

TBR welcomes Kit Domino

TBR: Welcome to TBR, Kit. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Kit: Hello, and thank you for inviting me here. I am a writer and international acrylic artist living in the SW of England, having escaped from London way back in 1972. I’ve always enjoyed writing, having had some minor successes with poetry before gravitating to taking the plunge in writing a novel, and have now written several. The biggest boost to my writing career was having Every Step of the Way shortlisted for the 2004 Harry Bowling Prize for a London novel. I have also been involved since its inception with and one of their featured authors as well as being an editor.

TBR: Tell us about Every Step of the Way and where it's available.
Kit: Every Step of the Way was published earlier this year to mark the 60th anniversary of the Killer Smog of London, which features in the book. The Ebook version published by new publishers ThornBerry Publishing UK and on all Amazon sites and through Barnes&Noble. A paperback version is also available FeedARead.

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Kit: It’s 1952 in West London - a time of coffee bars and jukeboxes, Teddy Boys and gang fights. As Christmas approaches, sixteen-year-old Beth Brixham has so much to look forward to. No more school, her first job, her first boyfriend. Instead, her world is thrown into darkness and chaos when on 5 December the Killer Smog descends over London, leaving in its wake a trail of death and disruption and changing Beth's life forever. When family tragedy strikes during the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, Beth finds herself shunned by her father. Faced with eviction, she must battle against the prejudices, laws and social bigotry of post World War II in an effort to prevent her baby sister being taken into care, but she hadn't gambled on the price she has to pay when offered a radical solution.

TBR: What inspired you to write about the theme?
Kit: I was writing a sequel to a novel and was searching for a way to move a family I had created away from London, when I came across a newspaper article on the Killer Smog and was horrified to learn how many deaths occurred as a direct outcome. This led me to delve deeper into what is the worst environmental disaster to hit Britain’s capital city to date. I found out those areas worst affected where, in fact, the very districts where I grew up in the mid 1950s. I remember the London smogs well and realised many people, like myself, were not aware of what happened and why, or of its long reaching ramifications.

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Kit: I’m definitely a bit of both. In Every Step of the Way, the plot was worked out before I began writing, purely because there was so much historical, medical, political and social history to research. In other novels, I am very much a panster and enjoy letting my characters lead the way. I find it more fun that way.

TBR: How do you develop your characters?
Kit: In Every Step of the Way my characters were very much drawn from my own history and background living in London. Whilst none of them are a direct characterisation, bits of each have been amalgamated from many relatives, people I knew and remember, some consciously, others less so.

TBR: Do you have a favorite quote you’d like to share?
Kit: My favourite quote is “Build it and they will come” from the movie Field of Dreams starring Kevin Costner. It is so true in all manner of things, apart from which, Kevin Costner is one of my favourite actors and I would love for him to play a lead part from one of my books should the opportunity every arise. Swoon. Well, we can all dream…

TBR: Did any music inspire your book? Do you have a playlist?
Kit: The music of the 1950s certainly plays a part in Every Step of the Way, for Beth, my lead character, opens a coffee bar with a jukebox. The 1950s saw the birth of the British music charts, and thus important to the theme and plot of the story. In other books, particularly in my forthcoming release, Whitestones, music is the central theme and centres around a piece of classical music.

TBR: While creating your books, what was one of the most surprising things you learned?
Kit: That has to be the factual details concerning the Killer Smog of 1952 and how much it affected lives and forced the government to act, in turn, leading to the creation of the Clean Air Act. I never realised so many deaths were incurred, and not just the human toll.

TBR: Tease us with one little thing about your fictional world that makes it different from others.
Kit: Whilst falling into the saga genre, my novel is also an essay into the social history of the 1950s’ era, including Teddy Boys and gang fights, the birth of the English music charts. Most London sagas are based in the East End of London, whereas Every Step is centred on the West End. But it is also very much a love story where everything conspires to keep my heroine and hero apart.

TBR: What's next for you?
Kit: My publishers will be releasing Whitestones in 2013. This novel is a completely different genre being a contemporary mystery. Following that, I have a timeslip that is going through rewrites, and I have a second saga to complete.

TBR: What’s the most interesting comment you have received about your books?
Kit: This has to be from a fellow author who commented that the descriptions were so vivid, she could actually smell and taste the London smog in the opening chapter.

TBR: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Kit: I am very much a fan of Barbara Erskine books, weaving history with timeslips so masterfully, and Rosie Thomas, whose descriptions really make her books come alive. I’m currently reading A Drift of Daisies by Avis Randall. This is a saga set in the West Country of England and is both funny and sad. She writes wonderful dialogue.

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
Kit:  Website:
Twitter: @KitDomino

TBR: Thanks for visiting TBR, Kit. Best of luck to you.


  1. Thank you, it's great to be here. :)

  2. Whoop, great post. I loved Every Step of the Way and it's great to hear more about how you wrote it and what you learned along the way. XX

  3. Looking forward to reading Every Step of the Way. I, too, am a fan of Barbara Erskine. I loved Lady of Hay and have some of her other titles on my bookshelves... now to find time to read them.

    Best of luck with your novel, Kit! May you sell zillions!

    1. I love all Barbara E's books, Melanie but Lady of Hay my favourite. Thanks for commenting and your good wishes. Kit

  4. What a great interview - it's so interesting to know more about the background to Every Step of the Way. I liked the Kevin Costner quote which I wasn't familiar with - it's a good one!

    Wishing you great success, Kit!

    Janice xx

    1. Thanks, Janice. Sad person that I am I think I remember every line in Field of Dreams.

  5. I loved Every Step of the Way - it's like stepping back in time to another era, literally! Interesting post, really enjoyed it.

    1. Aah, thanks, Linn. Much appreciate your comment. Kit :)

  6. Ooh, I love Kevin Costner, too. I'd play his lead lady anytime! Reading an excerpt from Every Step of the Way was what tempted me to buy it, Kit. It really was very evocative. Good luck! :) xx

  7. Many thanks, Sheryl. I bags Kevin first!

  8. Hi Kit
    Loved Every Step so delighted to know there are more of your books on the way!
    Ali B


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