A write touch for Katharine

PUBLISHED: 11:25 17 January 2008 | UPDATED: 12:46 06 May 2010

Katharine McMahon

Katharine McMahon

APPEARING on the Richard and Judy Book List is already paying dividends for author Katharine McMahon. Sales of her novel The Rose of Sebastopol are shooting up as a result of her appearance on the annual list promoted by the TV duo which has overtaken bot

The Rose of Sebastopol has seen a massive boost in sales

APPEARING on the Richard and Judy Book List is already paying dividends for author Katharine McMahon.

Sales of her novel The Rose of Sebastopol are shooting up as a result of her appearance on the annual list promoted by the TV duo which has overtaken both the Booker and Costa prizes as the book industry Oscars.

Katharine, who has been a member of the St Albans-based Company of Ten for many years where she performs under the name Kate Rainsford, has spoken about her delight at her inclusion. She is the only woman novelist to feature on the 10-strong list this year.

She said: "There is a huge dollop of luck but I think it is that breakthrough moment."

Katharine, a mother of three, had her first novel published in 1990 and The Rose of Sebastopol, which she describes as a coming-of-age and a love story, is her sixth novel. It is set in the Crimea and tells the story of Mariella Lingwood who travels to the battlefields to find her fiancé Henry, a surgeon.

Katharine first heard that her publisher Orion had put forward her book for selection in the middle of September - but she was wary of becoming too excited because about 100 novels are submitted to Amanda Ross who decides which will feature on the list.

In mid-November she heard she was on the shortlist of 20 books and was expecting to hear on December 10 whether she had made the final list. Ten days earlier than expected, she heard the good news.

She has since been filmed for her appearance on the Richard and Judy Show which will be broadcast next Wednesday, January 23. Despite her acting background, filming was a new experience which took her from her home to her old school in Stanmore and Guy's Hospital in London.

She said: "They were all very friendly. We just talked and chatted and it is always lovely to talk about your book."

The Rose of Sebastopol will be promoted on the programme by a celebrity guest but she does not yet know who it will be.

But she will attend the dinner hosted by Richard and Judy in April where their annual book awards are presented. She said: "It doesn't matter a bean to me how I do, it is just phenomenal being on the list. It is nothing short of a miracle."

Her back list of books is now set to be republished and she is working on her next novel, a courtroom drama about a woman solicitor set in the 1920s, which is due out next year.

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