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The Story Behind the Story: Kate Paine

We invited our contributors to unwrap their stories with us and give us a little 'behind the scenes'. Click on the images to read what inspired them to write their stories for this anthology.

Anger and tension spark off the page in Kate’s essay Pursuit about how girls and women grow up and into the knowledge that we will be objectified, stalked and harassed in public places, and how she must raise the subject now with her teenage daughter.

How much of your life do you give to writing?

There’s never enough time for writing! I split my time between music and writing in my working life as a music teacher and writing coach/editor. I think the creative processes for both are so similar and symbiotic, and I often get great ideas for one while doing the other.

Having said that, life often gets in the way of doing anything creative. Nothing stops me reading, though, and I always think of that as the best groundwork and inspiration for writing.

Your story Pursuit describes an experience shared by many women, and the dilemma we often face as mothers. How does this piece fit with your wider writing? Do you write in other genres?

I really love reading creative nonfiction, and find myself drawn to writing in this genre more and more. It’s a wonderful and challenging combination of creativity, narrative, opinion, and fact. Lately I’ve been writing a lot about family and parenthood. But fiction will always be my first love. I recently finished writing an historical novel set in colonial Queensland, Australia, which I’m about to try to get published.

What made you write this piece in particular?

I wrote this piece because my teenage daughter experienced a man following her one afternoon in the middle of the city, which also happened to me when I was her age. It infuriates me that this is such a common experience for women and that, because of how it’s framed by society, we take the burden of it on ourselves, along with the attendant guilt, confusion, fear, and worry, and along with so many other issues to do with our bodies, sexuality, safety, power, how we experience sex…I could go on! All of these become our problems/faults instead of things that should never happen in the first place. It’s also something that, for the most part, we suffer silently and I think it’s time to shout about it instead.

How can readers further support your writing or other creative work?

Readers can support me by following me on Instagram, where I link to everything I do, and

listening to my music recordings and musings on my blog. And if anyone’s interested in publishing a book… ;-)

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