Kate Forster like you’ve never seen her before. Last month I raved about “The Perfect Location,” and this week I had the chance to chat with her about books, life, travel and more!

Chick Lit & Wine: You seem to know the world of celebrities inside and out. What’s your secret? What kind of research or insight did you need to make the reader feel a part of their inside world?

Kate: I went to acting school in Australia and worked in production and advertising after that. I am still of that world but not in it completely so I get some great stories without having to dig too much. I read a lot about how the star system works and the industry drives much of the gossip we read about. We are asked, as the viewers or the fans, to perceive the famous in a certain way and when they fail to live up to the image, then they have a long way to fall. Take all the magazine covers and awards away, and celebrities have the same issues as everyday people. It’s important to remember this when using these archetypes as a characters. You can be a millionaire and still struggle with relationships and health issues, these things can’t be photoshopped into perfection.

Chick Lit & Wine: “The Perfect Location” is a lofty title — but Perugia certainly lived up to it. How did you pick this city? 

Kate: Perugia, being a Roman city, brings history and culture to the area along with youth through the university. It’s considered the artistic home of Italy without all the insanity of some of the other tourist destinations in Italy. I have loved Italy since I saw A Room with a View, when I was a teenager. Something about the language and the food, combined with cheekiness appeals to my Taurean soul.

Chick Lit & Wine: Do you like to travel, or are you a home-body? What settings are most inspiring for your writing?

Kate: I love to travel but I like to do it in style. I could never have backpacked across Europe when I was young. I like clean sheets and in-room dining too much.

The settings for my books are places that intrigue me and have a particular style and flavour. I am fortunate that I have travelled so I know the essence of a city or a country. My next book is called, “The Secret Romantics” and is set in country England, London, Los Angeles and Byron Bay.

Chick Lit & Wine: This novel has depth in a way many chick lit novels don’t. How were you inspired to create and weave the complex story lines?

Kate: I am so pleased you saw the depth in the book. I wanted to create levels of humour and at times the despair that comes with being human, even if you are famous. Life has a wonderful way of interconnecting and if we are open to it, we can help each other to grow. I love to write about friendship and in this book, I didn’t want to pit women against each other.

That’s not how friendships work in my world. My friends are always there for me, just like the way the women and men help each other in the book.

Chick Lit & Wine: Who are some of your favourite authors? Who do you feel has influenced you the most?

Kate: My favourite authors are unashamedly commercial story tellers. As a teen I loved Sidney Sheldon, Shirley Conran, Judith Krantz, Jilly Cooper, Jackie Collins and Jeffrey Archer. As an adult I love Alice Hoffman, Audrey Niffenegger, Kerry Greenwood, Tilly Bagshawe, Tasmina Perry. I try and read as much as I can, not just because I love it but also because I need to keep learning. I just read “Your Voice In My Head” by Emma Forrest and found it both disturbing and wonderful in her description of depression. I cried several times. That’s an incredible skill, to make someone cry through words.

My biggest influence would have to be the authors who I read as a child. These are the stories that stay with me and I am always trying to recreate the feelings I got from their books, and the hero’s and heroines. I read “Gone with The Win” over ten times through my youth. Scarlett O’Hara has one of the best character arcs written that I can think of.

Chick Lit & Wine: What wine would you pair with “The Perfect Location”? Why?

Kate: Well, limoncello obviously, for those who have read the book, then you understand this reference. However, a glass of nice prosecco might do the trick. Picking at an antipasto platter, drinking prosecco and reading “The Perfect Location” in a sunny corner somewhere, and you might find yourself escaping to Italy for a while.

Chick Lit & Wine: I have to ask – will there be a sequel? (Please say yes!)

Kate: So many people ask me that! Do you think they need a sequel? In my second book, Rose and Jack come back for a few scenes, so it was nice to see them again. I think Calypso and Sapphira might make a cameo in the third book.

Chick Lit & Wine: Any other novels in the works?

Kate: Yep, I have “The Secret Romantics” due out in February next year in Australia and UK, and I am currently writing a series of teen romantic fiction, which is so much fun. I love writing about first love.

Chick Lit & Wine: Thank you to Kate for chatting with us! See our review of “The Perfect Location” – the perfect summer read!

xx, Syrah