Kate Morton is the eldest of three sisters. She was born in South Australia and moved with her family numerous times before settling, finally, on Tamborine Mountain. There she attended a tiny country school and spent much of her childhood inventing and playing games of make-believe with her sisters.
Kate fell avidly in love with books very early. Her favorites were those by Enid Blyton, and Kate escaped many times up the Faraway Tree or with the Famous Five into smugglers' cove. It was a love deeply felt, for it is still mysteries and secrets that dance around the edges of Kate's mind, keeping her awake deep into the night, turning or typing pages.
When she finished school, Kate studied and earned a Licentiate in Speech and Drama from Trinity College London. After an ill-fated attempt to 'do something sensible' and obtain an Arts/Law degree, she went on to complete a summer Shakespeare course at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and for sometime believed her future lay in theatre. Until one day, quite simply and clearly, she realized that it wasn't performing she was in love with. It was words.
Although she'd read and scribbled from before she could remember, it hadn't occurred to Kate, until that time, that real books were written by real people. She began writing in earnest and completed two full length manuscripts (which lie deep and determinedly within a bottom drawer) before settling finally into the story that would become The Shifting Fog (The House at Riverton), which has been published in 26 countries to date.
Concurrently, Kate enrolled in a degree in English Literature at the University of Queensland, graduating with First Class Honors. On that basis she won a scholarship and proceeded to complete a Masters degree focusing on tragedy in Victorian literature.
Kate is married to Davin, a composer, and they have two young sons. All four live together in a nineteenth-century home replete with its own ghosts and secrets. Kate's second novel, The Forgotten Garden was published in 2008. Her third novel, The Distant Hours, was published in 2010, The Secret Keeper was published in 2012.
This biography was last updated on 05/09/2013.
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Kate Morton talks about why and how she writes
Writers often say they've been writing since they were children. Is that the case for you?
I've always been a reader, but I didn't start writing until I was in my twenties. I read voraciously as a child and loved English class in school, but it didn't occur to me for a moment that an ordinary person could become a published writer. When I finished school, after a brief and ill-fated attempt to study law, I took up acting until a chance comment by a friend encouraged me to try writing a book. From the first instant, I knew I'd found the thing I was meant to do. Writing and acting are similarthey both involve telling stories and transporting other people to a different placebut as a writer I'm able to inhabit the whole of my fictional world, rather than just one role, and I can do it whenever and wherever I choose. For an introspective person who enjoys observing more than performing, it was a much better fit.
What else are you passionate about?
Writing brings me enormous pleasure and affords me wonderful opportunities to travel and learn and express my ideas, so I don't have a great need for many other hobbies. When I'm not ...
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