The Sisters

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My new book is out!

This was written after reading about a group of heiress sisters to a skin care fortune.

I imagined their lives and the pressure from family and the invested public for them to be perfect, which is impossible!

I often wonder about the lack of empathy for people who are in the public eye to make mistakes, and learn from them. Imagine being 25 again and having every single mistake reported with imagery in the Daily Mail or the gossip columns?

You couldn’t pay me to do it, honestly. I got up to mischief in my 20’s and into my 30’s for that matter, hell, I am still doing it into my 40’s after recently coming home at 3.30am after a night out with friends. Thankfully no one was there with a camera to record the evidence of my tragic walk to the Uber with a kebab in hand.

The sisters in my book are all so different but connected which those who have sisters will understand. No one can hurt you or comfort you like a sister. You know where their bodies are buried and where their best parts are in their heart.

I am thrilled this is out in the world now and I hope you enjoy it!

Kate

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Early reviews are in now:

“I really loved this one. It had everything. Fashion, Art, Horses and women who take their destiny into their own hands, sleazy businessmen and cheating husbands as well as a man claiming to be their brother.”

Pirate Patty Book Review Blog

You can buy here:

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2NZurmU 
iBooks: https://apple.co/2EDsFIT

Amazon: mybook.to/SistersForster
Google Play: http://bit.ly/2JbOZrI

Knowing Your Worth

Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing. —  Oscar Wilde

When I'm not writing my books or writing business proposals for large companies, I help an international concierge manage the playtime for people with money.  These are people who don't have budgets for holidays. They just say where they want to go, for how long and how many people are travelling.  They also have weddings at places like the Palace of Versailles and have weddings on three continents for their coterie of guests, where Krug is drunk like water and stars like Rihanna and Mariah are flown in to sing Happy Birthday.

I have sourced and booked a selection of houses for the world tour for a famous singer and her husband, booked trips to Paris for the Spring-Sumer 2018 Haute Couture Chanel show, plus planned private yacht parties for property developers and arranged bespoke scarves made for a party invitation from Hermes. 

I write books about these people. It is not a life I live but I understand it. 

Someone who is of this world once said to me, 'you understand luxury.' Indeed I do. I am a Taurus who was raised on Nancy Mitford and Tatler magazine. Now I write about lifestyle and love. Children and ambition. Secrets and keeping face.  In my first book, The Perfect Location, I wrote about characters inspired by Harvey Weinstein, Brett Ratner and others. Some reviewers said my books were implausible. Those things that I wrote about would never happen. Now my plot lines read like newspaper articles. I just knew the rumours about men like this back in 2008. 

Everything I write about comes from a source, a story, an experience, a situation. It's all fodder. 

Lately, I have been thinking about the levels of wealth I see on a weekly basis now. There are several levels of the hierarchy of wealth. They are as follows:

1) Comfortable - You can pay your bills on time and have an overseas holiday every year. You travel on points and take photos of your bircher and croissant when you manage to get into the business club lounge.  You can afford special events or a night at a hotel suite with your partner. You work really hard to maintain the fiscal momentum in your life. You consider stress part of the fuel that pushes you to get to the next level. You still have your old friends from school. 

2) Well off - You pay your bills monthly and in advance, and travel overseas twice a year for the skiing and the sun. You check into the business club lounge on Facebook. You don't take photos because that's not cool. You start a collection of something. Maybe watches, often a good entry level collector's item, or art, if you know a thing or two, or know someone who can advise. You are now asked to donate to your old school, or your children's school. You can but it's not enough to have your name on the Arts Centre. Yet. You get a lot more friend requests on Facebook from people you went to school with but can't remember them. 

3) Wealthy - Your bills are paid automatically from your household account and you don't need to check them or the statement. You travel four times a year, for the skiing, the sun, the music and the food. You also own a beach house and a farm which are visited regularly. You lift your head when you enter the First Class Lounge. You have a small theatre in the middle school named after you and a prize for the best Humanities student. Your circle of friends is smaller, and often well-heeled because they don't ask for stuff. You don't have Facebook anymore.

4) Rich - Your finance manager pays your bills. You pay-pass everything. You have a money clip with a wad of $100 and $50 notes adding up to $3200. You work three months of the year on a project, spread out over the 12 months period. You travel the rest of the year, only fly business, and have no idea about how many points you have. You give a nod of acknowledgement to the receptionist when you enter the First Class Lounge. You have shares in Facebook and a new social sharing platform which is in Beta phase but with better data protection than FB. You have a few close friends now. Maybe two. You all know where the bodies are buried. You trust very few. And either your family is everything, or you and your partner have had a shit storm of a divorce, and the kids are struggling.

5) Ultra-Rich - You haven't paid a bill in ten years. You don't pay for things, or if you do, you have no idea how much it cost. You don't work, but you work out. You own houses where you can ski, sun yourself, have large parties for New Year's Eve, and can land the helicopter. You have a pilot and a Gulfstream plane where your three-year-old has her own booster seat. You own a large tech company, you're developing your own social media platform, along with various other blockchain projects. You're remarried with a serious prenup. You are wondering what happens to the money when you die. You arrange your philanthropic causes according to your passions once you're dead. You worry about your kids and why they're assholes. You wonder when you became an asshole. You think about all the things money couldn't fix in your life. Cancer that killed your sister, the schizophrenia of your son, the drunk driver that killed your best friend. Money means nothing now but if you say that to someone who doesn't have any, then you seem disingenuous.


Money is fun but if you are chasing it to climb to the next level, think about it for a moment. What will it cost you?
That's what I write about. The cost of living well and how what we think will make us happy very rarely does. 

Self worth is everything. What are you worth? You're more than the latest car or the latest iPhone. You don't need the huge TV. You don't need the latest Givenchy bag to prove you have value, that you matter. If it's a struggle to get these things and keep them, they they're not worth it. Being a functioning member of society who matters is not reliant on your 'stuff' because it's all just stuff. And there will be more stuff you think you need and you don't need it! You don't! You can travel the world collecting stuff, but nothing, nothing is as good as someone who tells you that you are the one they want to make laugh. Or the one who is on the list for 'People to call when the shit goes down'. This is your worth. This is what matters. 

Happy days to you, my friends. xx

 

Declutter Your Bookshelves

For those who are book lovers, letting go of books is somewhat of a Sophie's Choice.

However, you would be surprised by how many books you could let go of, if you're brave enough, and besides, you will now have room for more books. 

Depending on how you organise your bookshelves, and that is entirely personal, the way to decide which books to let go of is easier than you think. Here is my tip for choosing which books to send off to the charity store.

1) Lose the double ups

Perhaps you have two copies of Death of a Salesman? Or several copies of Macbeth. It often happens with classics. Keep the best version either by translation or condition and then let the others find their new home.

2) Let go of books that are no longer relevant to your life

Perhaps there are books that relate to your life when you were a business person, and now you're an artist, and the books give you the heebie-jeebies. Dump them. Stat.

3) Say goodbye to the outdated

The best interior design annual of 2001? Or a book of new website designs from 2004? You don't need these. No, not even for nostalgia. The same goes for old recipe books that you haven't cooked from in ten years.

4) Ripped? It's gone.

That yellowed, tatty old version of whatever paperback you once read but can't really remember it, probably isn't worth keeping. It's also not suitable for the charity shop, so recycle, please.

5) Hate it? Heave it

Sometimes we have books we know are important literary works, but we hated them. We couldn't finish them. They diminished us in some way or upset us or troubled us. You don't need to keep it. There are no rules that say you MUST keep any book you loathe.

6) Reorganise

How do you organise your shelves? Alphabetical by author or title? Genre? Colour? Chronological? However you like to order your books, now is the time to do another cull. 

7) Create a to-be-read section

I am sure that you have books you want to read on your bookshelf. Take them out and put them on a particular shelf and start to read through them. 

9) Share the love

If you have some books you think a friend or family member might like, then put them aside to loan to others, just remember to write down who and when you loaned it to.

10) Get a library card

If you need to detox from buying books, then get a library card. You can order books in, you can not finish them and not care, just return them on time. No guilt, no fuss. 

 

 

 

On The Mammoth Loneliness Of Being Creative

A long time ago, when woolly mammoths were a big thing, loneliness was an important feeling that existed to remind us that it isn't safe to be away from the tribe. It beat at our chests and heads, warning us that pain is out there, a loss is out there, even death, perhaps from one of those pesky and clumsy woolly mammoths or some other dangerous mega-fauna.

But as we have evolved, we still have that sense of loneliness, even though the threat of death by mammoth is now slim to none. 

Loneliness is at epidemic proportions, with studies now saying it's worse for you than smoking or drinking, raising your stress levels and causing inflammation in the body, which in turn manifests into all sorts of serious illness, even death. 

So now the fear of the woolly mammoth is the actual feeling of loneliness. What was once a warning sign of danger, is now the danger in and of itself.

I don't think there is a greater loneliness than that of the creative person. You can spend days not speaking to anyone. You can miss phone calls or put out stern messages that you will not be available to sup or dance with until you meet your deadline. No exceptions! All these self-imposed rules exist so we can meet our desire to create and obey the muse that stalks within us. We self-punish to please what yearns to be let out of our minds and fingers, and this is for the term of our natural life. 

Then, just like a dream, you then wake and realise everyone has gone dancing without you, and you are alone with the woolly mammoth of loneliness as your only company. 

But not everyone is afraid of, or even dislikes their mammoth. Writers often make friends with it, tucking the feelings it evokes away in their mental notebook to be repurposed at a later date. Artists paint it, musicians score it, and poets plait it into a verse that stabs at the earliest parts of our awakening and DNA.

We head out into mysterious lands of the imagination without a compass, the place that no one else but us will charter and map. We face demons of our own making, we face grief, and loss, and fire and drownings and death and guilt and that is only up to Chapter 3. 

We take the photos and draw the shapes and paint in a way that makes others cry, just like you do when you hear that special piece of music that seems to have been written just for you, just for this moment.

We write and paint and compose and more, all of it for those who choose to stay in the village, far away from where the mammoth roams. We aren't resentful, we need them there, as not everyone can tame the mammoth, and we want them to be there for us when we return. We will share our stories, and they will sup with us, and tell us about the news in town and keep us up to date with the area, so we will be safe again.

They read the stories we write and dance to the music that is composed for them. They weep over the poems that remind them of a time before they were alive, and they hang the art that cheers them, even though they don't understand why. They are present and real and aware of the dangers of the mammoth and sometimes they drag us out of our caves, or back from the badlands, and pull us into the moment.

And when we come back to ourselves again and reconnect with the world by drinking and laughing with friends, our bodies and minds relax, the good chemicals are released. Yes, we are better for the loneliness, it forced us to be brave and rely on ourselves, to tame the mammoth, but coming back to each other again reminds us that we need companionship to feel safe again. 

We must remind other creatives they are not alone. We must support other creatives when the mammoth threatens to stomp them into extinction. We must call out the names of our fellow creatives, so they know that they exist and matter and their work matter. That they will always be missed from events, even if the mammoth says they aren't, that no one remembers them or their work (mammoths say things like that, mammoths also lie, a lot).

We must rely on each other to keep the loneliness in check. These relationships give us meaning and desire. These relationships are what fuels our work. Without them, who are we creating for? We want to be read, to be heard, to be collected, to be noticed.

These social connections fire up our dopamine levels and dopamine pushes us to find what we desire. We need the social relationships to help us realise our creative desires, just as we need the solitary block to realise them into some form of art. 

So, my beloved creative people who are reading this, don't deny yourself company and connection. It's all lived experience, and it's all important, for, in the end, to live well, you must live fully, mammoth and all.


 

KATEBOOK is here

Yes, finally my very own social media channel where I don't have to deal with bigots or racists, or self-serving idiots with no critical thinking skills or self-awareness.

In the light of the news that social media is apparently making us stupider and less tolerate, and that it is addictive as a hit of cocaine I have created my own channel in which to now b̶r̶a̶i̶n̶-̶w̶a̶s̶h̶...inspire you in your own life. 

The social media phenomena are fascinating. I think Facebook has reached its zenith and now it's just something that's there but not really used besides watching those videos shot from the ceiling from Tasty, of recipes we would never cook, because honestly, combining salsa, broad beans, and mashed potatoes feel like a punishment, not a meal.

Beyond bad food combinations, people can no longer trust the content on Facebook, not with Putin and his meddling troll farms and the lack of ability for people to fact check information before they head off on the outrage train to Backwatersville.

My goal is to enterspire (sounds weirdly sexual and I apologise) and also self-promote because I am a writer and dammit, the average wage of an author in Australia is $12,900. Yes, that's how little we make. Yes, I will take your offer of a casserole and yes, I do shop at Aldi. Because I like to buy a petrol generator with my parmesan cheese and trumpets.

I am not very good at self-promotion because you're a bit of a tool when you do it, right? Or maybe that's just me. Selling books is one of the hardest marketing gigs there is because people get bookstore amnesia and because there are so many books from which to choose from.

Why should they read my book? It's a personal choice and one that is often impossible to predict.

But enough about that, let's talk about content and channels.

I am sick of spreading my content across Facebook and Twitter and Medium and Reddit and Steemit and more. This is my new home. All content will be pushed off the cliff from here -  katebook.

I promise to make upside down cooking videos of bad recipes, stupid quizzes to help you find out what sort of a cupcake you are and upload photos of me photoshopped into exotic and fabulous foreign places so you can feel less than me, and wish you had my photoshop skills.

And finally, I promise to let you know about any new books I have coming out. (Two in 2018!) 

You're welcome. Stay amazing. Eat your greens (makes your poo soft) and don't care what other people think so much because to be honest, they're not thinking about you. They're thinking about themselves. I know I am.

Kate

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