Kathy Martin has been writing since she was a teenager. “It became my full-time occupation about 20 years ago,” she reveals, “but even before then, when I was earning a living working in recruitment and sales, I never lost sight of my ambition to write professionally. In fact, from an early age I knew it was the only job that would truly satisfy me.”
Although Kathy always dreamed of writing historical fiction, she honed her skills along the way by writing for a variety of different publications. Her first piece appeared in print in 1976 when she was just 16; a review of a beauty contest weekend in which she had been a participant, it was published by teen magazine Look Now. However, her first real success came in 1987 when she was a finalist in Cosmopolitan’s ‘New Journalist’ competition.
Soon after this, fuelled by her passion for history she began to develop an interest in antiques and collectables. This led to a long career writing for and editing various magazines related to the collectables hobby, including Teddy Bear Scene and Collect It. She has also worked as an off-screen valuer on Flog It, the BBC’s popular antiques show.
Breaking into books
In 2007, when Kathy was editing a monthly magazine called Teddy Bear Scene, she was approached to write a book about the history of the teddy bear. She followed this up with in-depth, carefully researched studies of Merrythought and Farnell, two of the UK’s best-loved soft toy manufacturers.
In 2011 she turned her attention from the world of antiques and collectables to focus on her first love, historical fiction. Her Who’s Who in Women’s Historical Fiction – a handy A to Z guide to some of the most interesting characters in female-penned historical fiction – was published in 2012 to favourable reviews. The Lady called it ‘a brilliant idea, full of witty character sketches and acidic asides…’
Kathy’s first historical novel, The Woodville Connection, was published in hardback in September 2013 by Pen & Sword Books (under the name K. E. Martin to differentiate it from her non-fiction titles). She lives in Berkshire with her husband, teenage daughter and a dim but wonderful Golden Retriever called Tova.