For someone who was expelled from primary school and who was called ‘mental’ by Posh Spice, Katy Regan has done alright for herself.
Brought up in Morecambe and Bolton-le-Sands, Katy has just had her third novel, How We Met, published.
And critics are describing it as her best work so far.
Katy’s first school was Sandylands Primary in Morecambe and it’s from there she was expelled – although she declined telling me why.
“Let’s just say I was quite a diffcult child, a late blossomer when it came to behaviour,” she said.
The family moved to Bolton-le-Sands when Katy was 10 and she went to the village primary school, followed by Carnforth High.
She then spent a year at Laine Theatre Arts School in Surrey where she was on the same course as Posh Spice.
Katy, 39, said: “Victoria Adam as she was called then used to say, ‘Oh Katy you are so mental’, although I think anyone was quite mental to her because she was quite normal – kind of straight and a nice girl. She was really eager to please.”
A year into the performing arts course, Katy realised that her future lay elsewhere and she headed back to Morecambe High sixth form and a more academic route.
Leeds University followed and the thought of writing as a career took root when she became features editor on the student newspaper.
Her first job was in the world of writing – as a reporter on Northampton’s Herald and Post but London was calling so she packed her bags and moved to the captital.
It took a while but what Katy describes as her “first big break” came in 2002 when she landed a job as full-time features writer on Marie Claire magazine. She was promoted to commissioning editor and two years after starting at the magazine she became pregnant to her friend.
“We were friends, we were having a baby and so my editor commissioned a column. She thought this might be quite modern,” explained Katy.
For two years, during which time time baby Fergus was born, Katy wrote a very successful column called And Then There Were Three... Sort Of.
The column inspired her first book, One Thing Led To Another.
Her latest book How We Met is set in this area with lots of references to Katy’s favourite haunts including the Merchants pub, the Sunbury Cafe, Williamson Park and the Midland Hotel.
“It was lovely to write about Lancaster,” she said.
“I used to go out there all the time, to all the pubs – it’s a beautiful city. And seaside resorts are evocative places to write about.”
Katy’s parents, David and Lynn, still live in Bolton-le-Sands and she pays a visit home every few months.
She now resides permanently in Hertfordshire with her son.