IN THE SHOES OF… Kathryn Evans


What's life like in someone else's shoes? This month Deputy Editor Françoise Price invites author Kathryn Evans to tell us about her day.

Kathryn Evans

In my case this should probably be, In The Wellies Of… welcome to my world.



I wake up confused after having a very vivid stage fright dream. I’m late to the stage, no makeup done, my comfort script not backstage as it should be, and I can’t even remember what play we’re doing. I haven’t had a professional acting job for over 10 years so why do I still get these dreams? I shake it off. It’s a day for comfort dressing — fluffy jumper, bloomers and long flannel skirt. It’s not supposed to rain today and I feel the need to swan about like Tess of The D’Urbevilles. There’s a reason my older dog is called Hardy.



I head downstairs, open the stair gate that stops the spaniels bothering the cat, cuddle said spaniels and make tea and a marmite crumpet. I post the daily farm shop video on Instagram, check my woefully neglected author Instagram and TikTok as I feed the cat, empty the dishwasher and prepare to take Hardy and Nims out, stuffing my pockets with poo bags, balls and bribery sausage. It’s raining. The met office lied. Even in my wellies and enormous purple raincoat, Tess is going to get a wet skirt.

Morning dog cuddles 


Walkies. After a mile and a half we reach the RSPB nature reserve and I let the dogs off in a very soggy field. There’s no one about so I can turn over a writing problem. I thought I was at the end of my new book but something isn’t working. I like the plot twist but the pace is off and I need to figure out how to put it right — in between throwing a tennis ball for Nims and picking burrs out of Hardy’s ears. By the time we’ve finished fetching and losing balls, we’re all wet, muddy and ready to head home and I still haven’t solved my ending problem. I listen to an audio book on the way back: Ian Mortimer’s Time Travel Guide to Medieval England. Background research is good for mood setting.



Home — I dry & feed the dogs, get the washing on, empty the bins, fill the wood basket, chores chores chores then finally, cup of tea and get the farm office work out of the way. Invoices, orders, electricity contracts, blackberry yield profiles, wages for the week… but by...

Kathryn's novels


I’ve cleared the decks enough to write. I think, not for the first time, how right Virgina Woolf was – what could I achieve with a room of my own and £500 a year (or whatever the modern day equivalent is). I’m so close to finishing the extensive agent edits on my new middle grade time travel novel. I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever written but I learned long ago to trust the instinct that if it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Until I’ve figured out a better ending, I can’t send it off. I WhatsApp one of my oldest pals, also a writer and also my Notes from The Slushpile gang. All the slushies met through SCBWI and we lean on each other pretty much daily. If they’ve time I know all these wonderful people with give me clear, kind, honest feedback.

Kathy and the Notes from The Slushpile team



More tea plus cheese on toast and more writing. Hang up washing, put another load on. Read message from neighbour about her goats needing greenery — we’re grubbing strawberry plants on the farm so I ask son to drop a builder’s bag of ex plants round to theirs. Check in on social media — answer some customer questions, check in on the farm shop sales. Unload shopping delivery. Son comes home, discuss plans for the next farming year, which are getting very complicated.

Kathy at the farm shop machine


More tea, fend off dogs wanting to go and play ball two and a half hours before their allotted time, shut the patio door that Hardy insists on opening every two minutes. Get my head down and write. Finally, I’m in the flow.



Dogs try and convince me it’s 3.30 and time to play. I ignore their determined stares and respond to a school visit enquiry (yes please) and a farming neighbour question about strawberry troughs (happy to help) and I email my agent to say I haven’t died and I AM working and any news on the reprint of Beauty Sleep (currently only available on Kindle.) I sterilise some jars for pickling green strawberries — an experiment for the farm shop. I make up a basic pickle brine.

'I respond to a school visit enquiry (yes please)'


DOGS, ALRIGHT It’s time. I listen to a (another) history podcast (I heart Greg Jenner) while getting soaking wet and covered in mud (again) playing ball with the dogs.



Feed the dogs and the cat, lay the fire ready for the family getting home, squeeze in a bit more writing — the book is so close to being done and I don’t want to not be writing but I also have to make dinner. Ahhh — Virginia Woolf…



Daughter calls, we chat while I throw together a cheesy risotto that can cook itself while I work.



'I sit in front of the woodburner and write, my favourite time of the day'

Dinner is done and cleared away, I’ve lit the fire and put Outback Opal Hunters quietly on the telly. Husband and son are both doing office work, so I sit in front of the woodburner and write, a dog either side of me, a cup of tea close by. This is my favourite time of the day. No more ‘other jobs.’ I can write until I go to bed and then, I can read!!


*Header image by Ell Rose & Tita Berredo; 
All other images courtesy of Kathryn Evans


Kathryn Evans is an award winning writer of young adult novels and a popular public speaker. Kathryn served SCBWI BI as a volunteer for many years, including almost a decade in charge of finances. She runs: great workshops; a fruit farm with her family; a moderately interesting TikTok account; herself, ragged.


Françoise Price is Deputy Editor of Words & Pictures magazine. Contact


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

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

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