Introducing Kate James


Introducing Kate James

While Kate Cuthbert is away on parental leave next year, we are delighted to welcome Kate James to the role of Interim Editor.

Kate has 22 years of editorial experience, has published two memoir/non-fiction titles of her own, and is a recent romance convert.

Which is all very good to know. But is that what’s really critical about an Escape editor? We asked her the important questions…

Name: Kate James
Porn Star name: Hosey Green. (Hosey. Really.)
Star sign: Aries
Your 2016 New Year’s Resolution: No resolutions, ever!

Why did you become an editor? I was a newspaper journalist, and I always envied the sub-editors (this is back in the day when newspapers actually employed sub-editors). I had to dress respectably and interact with the general public, but they got to hide away in the basement and wear ugg boots and just work with the words, which seemed a pretty sweet deal to me. Also, I love editing and I’m good at it.

First book you remember reading by yourself: OK this is going to out me as a perve, and I’m sure it wasn’t actually the first book I read by myself, but the first one I remember was some kind of illustrated “where do babies come from” book at the library. If you want to know where babies come from, I can still remember.

Three books that changed your life, and why:
Oh wow. Off the top of my head, and you’ll probably get three different books if you ask me tomorrow:

  1. Emily of New Moon (LM Montgomery) – I liked Anne, but I LOVED Emily. She made me want to be a writer and date slightly sketchy men.
  2. Princess Daisy (Judith Krantz) – this was the first piece of women’s genre fiction I ever read, and it was like crack. I was 12 years old and it was completely inappropriate for me, full of scandal and sex and melodrama and rich folk. I’ve been hooked ever since.
  3. The Family Golovlyov (Mikhail Saltykov) – this is an amazing and super-depressing Russian story about the most horrible people in the world. It definitely changed me by making me more of a misanthrope. Maybe don’t read this book.

Gun-to-your-head-you-have-to-chose-favourite-book: Right now, Shirley Jackson‘s We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Once it might have been Jane Eyre.

Most underrated author: Have you heard of Kate James? Australian travel/memoir writer, deserves to sell much better.

Newly discovered author you love: Jennifer Crusie. Yes I’m behind the times, but at least now I have the joy of playing catch-up and reading all her books.

Favourite Fiction Genre: Psychological horror. Which is most horror.

Favourite Romance Novel Trope: From Pride & Prejudice on, I can’t go past the trope of the woman who is initially overlooked by the hero for being too plain/fat/poor/quiet/outspoken – until he falls madly for her, and then she really makes him work to earn her trust and love.

Favourite kind of hero: Large, dark, does housework.

Favourite kind of heroine: I love a sweary, damaged bad-ass – think Rebekah Turner’s Lora Blackgoat.

One thing you love to read in a book: I will automatically love any book that has a dog as a major character. Dogs in romance literature ALWAYS know the good guys from the bad.

One book-related pet peeve: Anything that’s badly edited or proofed, because try as I might to take off my editor’s glasses, I always see that shit!

What you’re most looking forward to while working with Escape: Being paid to read books … I mean, working with all the lovely Escape authors.

The thing that scares you the most about working with Escape: Not living up to the Kate Cuthbert standard.

Famous Last Words: I’m sure I can fit in another slice of cake.

Kate James will step into the Interim Editor role on 4 January, and can be reached via email

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