Meet the Author: Kate Russell

 Today it is my pleasure to take part in a blog tour for a special publication and introduce you to Kate Russell, one of the authors of Mystery, Mayhem & Magic, an anthology of amazing adventures for young readers.

 “Take a path through the forest of imagination into mysterious journeys filled with mayhem and a kaleidoscope of magical creatures. From the authors of Shock! Horror! Gasp! and Fan-Tas-Tic-Al Tales, Mystery, Mayhem & Magic is the new anthology written by the Ten Penners … Come and explore!”


The blog tour started on Sunday and will end on Monday October 23. You might like to check out the following links during this week:

Special Announcement – book giveaway!

There will be a giveaway of a copy of Mystery, Mayhem & Magic! At the end of the blog tour those who have left a comment on this page, or on any of the other hosts’ pages during the blog tour, will be in the running to receive a free copy. The winner will be announced at the book launch at Broadbeach Library, Gold Coast, Queensland on 4 November.

So make a comment to be in the running. Good luck!

There’s also a colouring competition for children to send in via email. The winners will be announced at the book launch.

Download the book launch competition form here. (Scroll down the page to find the pdf of Plinko.)

Kate Russell loves reading books and stories so much she decided to write some herself. The stories Kate has written for Mystery, Mayhem & Magic are loosely based on her family life – with a bit of magic thrown in! Kate has also written several novels for adults and young adults and hopes to release them all into the wild over the next two to three years. For more about Kate, please check out her website:


Where did your love of books/storytelling/reading/writing/etc. come from?

I grew up surrounded by books.  My mother is a big reader and her book collection is huge, and mine isn’t far behind.  Wherever I go, my books go too.  My husband is resigned to the fact that every time we move, half the boxes are filled with my books!

Ever since I can remember, I’ve been a voracious reader.  I even liked reading the novels you had to read for English at school.  (That’s when I discovered Jane Austen.)  Some books in my collection I’ve had for over 40 years.    I loved Enid Blyton as a child, particularly The Wishing Chair, and because I desperately wanted a pony, I also have quite a few novels featuring horses. I also loved The Borrowers series by Mary Norton (she also wrote Bedknobs & Broomsticks, the novel the Disney movie is based on), and anything by KM Peyton (she wrote the Flambards series, a family saga which begins just before WWI) and Leon Garfield (my favourite of his is Smith, about a pickpocket in 18th century England).  These are books I read again and again.

As a kid, all I wanted for birthday and Christmas presents were books, and nothing much has changed.

How long have you been writing?

I’d always enjoyed writing stories when I had to do it for school, but it was only when I was about 19 doing my secretarial course at TAFE and learning to type that I began to think about writing stuff when I didn’t have to.  My friend Isa and I, banging away on manual typewriters, wrote some truly terrible romance stories featuring us as the heroines and tall, dark, handsome heroes who fell madly in love with us.  My heroes usually looked like Tom Selleck, as I had a huge crush on him as Magnum PI.  That was a TV series in the ’80s.  Boy, I’m feeling my age now!

What kind(s) of writing do you do?

I write for adults, young adults and middle grade.  My most recent stories (for Mystery, Mayhem & Magic) feature my stepson, Kai, in various magical adventures.  They were great fun to write and I think Kai quite enjoyed having a starring role.  For Fan-tas-tic-al Tales, I wrote a poem, a fairy tale and a novelette.  My novelette featured a teenage witch, Kylie Cooper, and I liked her so much that I have since written three more (as yet unpublished) YA novels revolving around her and her family.

I have also self-published a romantic suspense novel with supernatural elements called Shadow of a Soldier (which is available on Amazon and as a Kindle e-book).  I have two more draft novels for adults:  a historical mystery and a humorous crime novel featuring a crime scene cleaner as the protagonist.  I have also drafted a standalone YA novel set during an alternative colonial Australia.

What do you like to read in your free time?

I love fantasy and science fiction, mystery and family sagas with deep, dark secrets.  My three favourite Australian authors are Kate Morton, Kimberley Freeman (aka Kim Wilkins) and Liane Moriarty, who all write brilliant, page-turning novels with secrets at their heart.  I also love Jasper Fforde, Neil Gaiman, Diana Gabaldon, Charlaine Harris, Janet Evanovich and Sue Grafton.  I read a lot of YA too, and, apart from the queen herself, JK Rowling, I also love Eoin Colfer, Cassandra Clare, Philip Pullman and Philip Reeve, who wrote the Mortal Engines series, an all-time favourite of mine.  (They’re making a movie based on the books at the moment, directed by Peter Jackson, and I am beyond excited!)  This is, of course, just a small sample of the authors I read, and I’m always discovering more…

At the moment, in honour of the 20th anniversary of the release of the first Harry Potter novel, I’m listening to the whole series again on CD (read by the wonderful Stephen Fry).  I’m up to Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and it doesn’t matter how many times I read (or listen) to this series, I never tire of it.  I’m also reading my third Kimberley Freeman novel, Gold Dust.

What projects are you working on at the present?

Once Mystery, Mayhem & Magic is released into the world, I am getting back to editing my own draft novels.  I aim to release my second adult novel, The Players, a mystery set during the silent movie era in Australia, by the end of the year.  It would be good to get a Kylie Cooper out too, but I will have to see how I go!

The Ten Penners