What's life like in someone else's shoes? This month Françoise Price invites journalist and author Katherine Latham to tell us about her day.

Katherine Latham


After another night of being up for hours with my 3-year-old daughter, I am pounced on by said sleep dodger shortly followed by her two brothers (7 and 10). Waking up is painful.


I remember a dream and make a mental note to write it down in case I can tie it into a story. A lot of my stories have come from my many lucid dreams over the years.



Getting all the children up and ready for preschool and school is a military operation. I go outside to feed the chickens and enjoy a quick moment of peace, then head back in to feed the dog and the cat, and to chase the jam-covered smallest children around the kitchen with a cloth.


"I enjoy a moment of peace while feeding the chickens"


Exhausted after what already feels like a long day, I settle down in my lovely newly converted study to start work.

"My lovely newly converted study"


I have two notebooks. One for journalism and one for creative story ideas. I love looking through my old story ideas books – and often go back to them for new stories to write.

I love writing short stories and have won a few competitions over the years – which I find to be great motivation and practice to really hone every sentence and look at the form of the story as a whole.



After, sorting my head out with a cup of coffee and a tidy up of emails, I start work on my article of the day.

Today, I’m working on a piece for BBC Future about the biodiversity of sound and the use of sound in conservation.


I write a lot about science, nature and the environment. I learn all sorts of things and talk to some of the world’s most amazing minds. I pinch myself everyday that I get to do this for a living.


On researching, I learn that mother whales whisper to their young so predators can't hear them. I jot this down in my story ideas notebook. Lots of things I learn about as I’m writing for journalism go into my creative writing.



The Wye Valley Greenway path

The dog has started bothering me so I give in and take him out for a run. We live in the Wye Valley, on the edge of the Forest of Dean. It’s such a beautiful area. As we run, we spot goldfinches and buzzards and listen to the buzz of bees and the wind in the trees. Flowers bloom alongside the track.


I find my mind wandering back to stories inspired by nature.



A quick shower, then lunch of homegrown eggs on toast and back to work.


This afternoon, I’m looking over the final edit of my first children’s book, Ink. I’ve been especially excited to see the new illustrations by Carol Pavey. Originally, I worked on this with an illustrator I met through Ad Hoc’s flash writing competition, Jon Stubbington – as a bit of a fun creative project. I loved the graphic novel, gritty style he came up with.


When publishers, Beachy Books took on the story, the boss, Philip Bell, (who I also met through a writing competition – there’s a theme here!) wanted to work with one of their existing illustrators.

Original Ink cover, illustrated by Jon Stubbington (left); final cover illustrated by 
Caroline Davey (written by KMS Latham, Beachy Books, published 2nd June 2023)


The new images are dreamy, nostalgic. They give the story a whole new feel. I love them just as much as the old ones. The story feels different now – like it’s a whole new world that’s been created with a stroke of ink.


I’m happy with the edit and email Philip to tell him so. This makes me nervous. It’s the final step and now I have to let go of my book baby and send it out into the world. Something that’s gone from inside my head to the big wide world.



Time to collect the sprogs. Life feels like one big rush. I type as fast as I can to get my work finished, then sprint up the road to the village school.


On the way home, the boys tell me about the Amazon Rainforest or Masai warriors or the ancient Egyptians – whatever has lit their curiosity that day. I make more mental notes to add things they say to my story ideas collection.


After school, chaos ensues until they all finally conk out about 8.30pm.



I collapse in front of the telly. Usually, I like to watch sci fi or horror. Or something with explosions in it. Nothing too real – I like to be taken away to other worlds.



I haul myself into bed and settle down to read. I always read before bed or I can’t switch my brain off.

Storyland, by Amy Jeffs

Tonight I’m reading Storyland by Amy Jeffs. The writing is delicious, beautiful. It’s about the history of Britain and begins in the distant mists of time when giants roamed the island.


I hop out of bed and look for one last time across the village gardens, across the park, towards the opposite bank of the Wye. Somewhere over there, under the starry night sky, in the pitch darkness of the trees, is a cave called Giant’s Cave. I wonder…



I struggle to go to sleep – and am often woken again throughout the night by my children, then struggle to get back to sleep again.


To stop my mind stressing about deadlines, I write stories in my head. This is my best creative time, when my mind is free to go wild and experiment. And before I know it I’m dreaming.

*Header image by Shannon Ell & Tita Berredo

All other images courtesy of Katherine Latham



KMS Latham is a children’s author, non-fiction author and journalist. Ink, her debut children’s book, is an eco sea monster adventure for young readers and was published by Beachy Books in June 2023. Katherine enjoys messing about in the sea, running and yoga. She lives in the Forest of Dean with her husband, three children, dog, cat and chickens. 

Find her on Twitter and her Website 


Françoise Price is Deputy Editor of Words & Pictures magazine. Contact
Find her on Twitter and Instagram


Shannon Ell is Illustration Features Editor of Words & Pictures. Contact them at

Tita Berredo is the Illustrator Coordinator of SCBWI British Isles and Art Director of Words & Pictures. Contact her at

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