WACL Speaker Breakfast – Kate Mosse – 18 November 2015
An introduction to Kate Mosse
Kate Mosse is an international bestselling author with sales of more than five million copies in 42 languages. Her fiction includes the novels Labyrinth (2005), Sepulchre (2007), The Winter Ghosts (2009), and Citadel (2012), as well as an acclaimed collection of short stories, The Mistletoe Bride & Other Haunting Tales (2013). Kate’s new novel, The Taxidermist’s Daughter is her latest number 1 bestseller.
Kate graduated from Oxford University and spent several years working in publishing. She left publishing in 1992, to begin her writing career and to help set up a new literary prize for women’s fiction. This was originally the Orange Prize and from 2014 became the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. In 1989, she and her husband bought a small house in Carcassonne in the Languedoc region of south-west France, the inspiration for her bestselling trilogy of historical time-slip novels. She moved back to her home town of Chichester in 1998 to take the position of executive director of Chichester Festival Theatre. In 2001, she began writing the first of the series, Labyrinth, which was published in 2005. Kate has also written 3 plays and the screenplay to her novel The Winter Ghosts.
Kate also writes for various newspapers and magazines, she is a guest presenter for A Good Read on BBC Radio 4 and was the captain of the winning team of alumni from New College, Oxford, on Christmas Celebrity University Challenge in 2012. Kate has served on a number of arts boards and runs the interview programme at Chichester Festival Theatre. She is Deputy Chair of the Board of the National Theatre in London and on the Executive Committee of Women of the World. She is one of the authors leading the campaign against the closure of the UK library service. She was awarded an OBE for services to literature and to women in 2013.
Why I think this will be a great event
Kate Mosse, is clearly prodigiously brainy and a big writing talent but she’s also a one woman phenomenon in the art of speaking up. Since she agreed to come and speak at WACL it seems as though she has been in every newspaper, magazine, website, TV show and radio programme that has any kind of focus on the arts, whether it’s the latest edition of “The Week” or Sky Sunrise with Eamonn Holmes or Loose Ends on Radio 4. For me, she also beautifully showcases the 3 important ways that I think successful women should speak up: to inspire other women, to challenge what needs to be changed and to celebrate and praise. I also think there are many parallels with her world and the world of advertising and communications; questions around creativity and critical vs commercial success, issues such as the effect of changing technology on consumer behaviour and business models. Like ours it’s an industry whose purchasers are mainly women but where critical taste and industry awards are dominated by men. Female authors still struggle for respect and recognition. In that context, how important is the existence of a women-only literary prize?
Kate Mosse is a talented creative woman, trying to encourage recognition for other creative women. So, when you’re thinking about possible guests to bring to this event, anyone (male or female) is welcome of course, but it might be a particularly appropriate event to bring along a female creative or two. We’ve got a bigger capacity for this breakfast so we’re not limiting guests to only one or two per member.
As a bit of inspiration here is a link to a video of this year’s Baileys Prize award ceremony, including an inspiring speech about the power of female role models from our very own Syl Saller.
I hope many of you can join us there.
All the best.