Slough author 'overwhelmed' by response to debut novel Careless

Grace Witherden

A coming-of-age novel about a teenage girl in foster care who finds out she is pregnant has been written by a Slough author.

Kirsty Capes said she has been ‘overwhelmed’ by the response to her debut novel, which was published earlier this month.

The 27-year-old who works full time in publishing said it took her around five years to write the book, which she did whilst working and studying for her PhD in creative writing at Brunel University.

Kirsty said: “I grew up in foster care and went into care at the age of two.

“Obviously I went through the system and a lot of what I was writing went into the book and was informed by my own experience.”

Kirsty said she had a ‘hell of a lot’ of rejections from agents and publishers but eventually found the perfect people to publish her book.

“They really understood what I was trying to do and the messages I was trying to deliver with it,” she added.

When asked about the reaction she has received, she said: “It’s been really overwhelming.

“I’ve had messages from strangers saying how much the book meant to them and how much they recognised themselves in it. It’s so lovely and completely not what I expected.

“I work in publishing and I know how many books come out every week that don’t get this fanfare, I set my expectations really low but everything has been so incredible.”

Kirsty is now working on her second book which is due to be published next year, and still working full time in her day job at HarperCollins.

“The schedule is a bit manic, I’ve been writing in the evenings, weekends and at lunchtime.

“Due to the pandemic I have an office in my flat but I do my day job and just close my work laptop and open up another. It’s pretty intense.”

Careless is published by Orion and is available in all major bookstores for £12.99.

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