Local girl and author Katy Regan has achieved her dream of being published in America.
Katy, who was brought up in Bolton-le-Sands and attended Carnforth High School followed by Morecambe High sixth form, got a two-book deal last year with Berkley, an imprint of Penguin in the States, for her new novel Little Big Man plus another yet untitled novel.
Katy has already published four novels with Harper Collins in the UK and had already got a UK deal for Little Big Man and another novel, with Pan Macmillan.
Little Big Man will be published in the UK in April and in the US as Little Big Love, in June. She has also sold the rights to six further countries.
Little Big Man is the story of single mum Juliet and her ten-year-old son, Zac. Zac has always been told that his father Liam didn’t want to know him, and did a runner before he was even born.
When Juliet reveals that actually his dad is the only person she’s ever loved, Zac turns detective to find out the truth about him and in doing so unravels his family’s past secrets, giving him the chance to have be reunited with his dad, and his mum the hope of finding the love she deserves. It’s a story about truth and how the truth can be different for different people, about love, loss and redemption.
“Getting the deal in the UK was amazing” says Katy. “But to get a two-book deal in the States is a dream come true and something which I hope will take my writing career to the next level.”
Little Big Man is the only one of Katy’s books so far that isn’t at least partly set in Morecambe or Lancaster. Her third, How We Met, which was published in 2012 is set almost entirely in the area. However, Little Big Man is set in another coastal town – that of Grimsby, in East Lincolnshire.
“Because I grew up on the coast, I am drawn to writing about coastal areas” says Katy. “I have written often about Morecambe, however, so wanted a change, but still wanted a location with a similar tight community and strong identity and heritage.
The idea to make Mick – one of the leading characters in Little Big Man – an ex-fisherman came to me long before I actually started writing the book, and so Grimsby seemed like the perfect location – it being the fishing capital of the world! Or at least it was, in the glory days before the Cod Wars.”
A visit to Grimsby, hoping for inspiration in 2015 cemented Katy’s decision to set it there.
“I went down to Grimsby docks, and to the fish market and literally walked in there saying I was a writer and that I wanted to talk to someone who could tell me about Grimsby’s fishing heritage.
“Having never met me in his life, Paul le Shonne – known as Shonney – manager of the market, then gave up his day to help me, showing me around the faded docks and regaling me with stories of his twenty-five years at sea, most of which found themselves in the pages of Little Big Man.
“Shonney then sent me home with a packet of the finest Grimsby haddock. I knew then, this was the right location!”
Katy attended Leeds University and has a degree in French and English. She now lives in Hertfordshire with her 13-year-old son, but loves to come home often to see her family, who still live in Bolton-le-Sands and the surrounding area.