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ChatChat - Claudia Cragg

Sep 18, 2010


This interview was conducted a few years ago with Kate Mosse not long after her first bestselling novel, Labyrinth was published. It became a New York Times bestseller and a popular and critical success on an international scale. It won the 'Best Read' category at the British Book Awards 2006, was #1 in UK paperback for six months — selling nearly two million copies — and was the biggest selling title of 2006. In 2007, it was named as one of the Top 25 books of the past 25 years by the bookselling chain Waterstone’s. It also hit the bestseller charts in various countries throughout the world, including the United States, Germany, Italy, France, Holland, Norway, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Translation rights to Labyrinth have been sold in thirty-eight languages, including Japanese, Chinese, and Hebrew.

In this feature, Kate discusses how she became an author (having started her literary career on the other side, as a commissioning editor in a major UK publishing house), the establishment of the Orange Prize for Fiction and how and why she became a writer. She descries the dominance of old, white, males as author in the English canon. She discusses why she took lessons in fencing that she took to understand a 16 year old medieval Cathar girl, the female hero (sic.) of 'Labyrinth'. To those who would consider 'Labyrinth' a clone in Brown 'Grail' novel style, Mosse has a counter: the subject is as old as time and found in almost every post-Christian culture.

Be sure, also, to listen to Part II (sequetial to this in the podcast series) in which Kate discusses her second best selling novel, Sepulchre.