Hi Kirsty, thank you for coming on to my blog today with your new book “It Started with a Wedding”. I love weddings, so I was super excited by this one and so happy to meet an old friend again!
Kirsty Ferry is from Northeast England and lives there with her husband and son. She won the English Heritage/Belsay Hall National Creative Writing competition in 2009 and has had articles and short stories published in various magazines. Her work also appears in several anthologies, incorporating such diverse themes as vampires, crime, angels and more.
Kirsty loves writing ghostly mysteries and interweaving fact and fiction. The research is almost as much fun as writing the book itself, and if she can add a wonderful setting and a dollop of history, that’s even better.
Her day job involves sharing a building with an eclectic collection of ghosts, which can often prove rather interesting.
It Started with a Wedding
It’s one thing to be asked to plan your sister’s wedding; it’s quite another when your sister is Nessa McCreadie …
Alfie McCreadie wants his twin sister Nessa to have the best wedding ever, but he’s not happy at being roped in as wedding planner – especially as, unbelievably, his main assistant seems to be Nessa’s cat, Schubert. Anyway, Alfie is a scientist. He might know his protons from his neutrons, but what does he know about weddings?
It’s Nessa who points him in the direction of Bea’s Garden, just outside Edinburgh, where he’s tasked with picking a “very-relevant-bouquet”. It’s there he meets Fae Brimham, who might be prettier than any bouquet bloom but doesn’t seem impressed by Alfie’s sensible, scientific side.
But when Nessa and Schubert are involved, surprises are bound to happen and, despite less-than-perfect first impressions, perhaps something new and beautiful can still blossom for Alfie and Fae …
This is the fifth in your Schubert Series, yes he’s back and what a great character he is. This time we are reading Alfie’s story. I know they can all be read as standalone books and I love seeing what Schubert gets up to. In this case, you’ve given him a wedding to help organise. But for all brides out there who don’t have their own Schubert, what would be the most important five things they need to remember to organise?
Location, flowers, cars, reception, cake! Not necessarily in that order 😊 Your dress goes without saying, but if you have the dates and people booked in for that lot, the rest is fun.
I love books with animals in and Roger is a great name for a horse, is Schubert based on a cat you know?
He is largely made up (although he has become quite real!), but is very, very partially a fusion of dog-ness and the cat who used to live next door. She had some strange little ways and would randomly appear in the house when you thought everywhere was locked! She also used to take herself for walks around the block and call in on her Royal Progress and see her additional families. She’d also wait for my son at the bus stop after school. Then she’d escort him inside and wait for her tea!
Schubert hates his pink lead with a passion. What is one item of clothing that you own, or have ever owned that you would never be seen dressed in these days?
I think it would have to be a tight black satin mini skirt with a gold lace fishtail thing at the back, and a black and gold shiny vest top – the outfit I wore the first time I snuck into a nightclub aged 17. Goodness me, I looked dreadful! White, pale legs and too much make-up…
Twins feature very much in this book, Alfie and Nessa; Fae and Fergus, do twins run in your family?
Yes! My grandad was an identical twin and my husband’s aunt and uncle were twins. There was a good chance we would have twins, but we ended up with just my son. Although when he was little, he used to talk about ‘my twin sister Emily’ which used to freak me out a bit. It was one of the names we’d thought about for a girl, and he used to draw pictures of a family of four when there were just three of us – maybe that’s a story in itself!
Alfie is very scientifically minded, what about you?
I passed GCSEs in Biology and Chemistry and enjoyed those, but I detested Physics so I didn’t take it. I’m more of a Humanities girl. My husband and son are the scientists – my son is doing a degree in Physics, and my husband would have loved to do that, had he not got a job in engineering.
You say in your biography, your day job involves sharing a building with an eclectic collection of ghosts, can you say more?
Yes, that office is in a converted terrace of Georgian houses, and there are often strange things to be seen and heard. For example, I heard a conversation one morning when it sounded like my boss was having a go at someone and I crept in, and there was nobody there. A pole we used to open the windows lay itself down very gently one day at the door – I watched it happen – and cleaners used to say they’d see a man in old fashioned clothing sitting at a desk, or a pair of disembodied legs walking up the stairs. My old boss said she saw a nurse in a long grey dress with a white apron walking along a corridor as well, and when we researched it a bit, we found that house had been used as a convalescence home in the Victorian days. Another colleague heard disembodied laughing from under the desks, like children playing a game of hide and seek. Very spooky, but I love the building so much!
The garden you set the story in, feels very real, was it based on somewhere that you know?
Yes, it’s based on Dilston Physic Garden near Corbridge, in Northumberland. It’s amazing – it’s all about plants for healing and wellbeing and has a magic all of its own.
And yes it has a Witches area, as well as the wonderfully named ‘Opium Den’, which is a collection of beautiful poppies –
and also a Jacobite Garden, just like the one Fae talks about in the book, which is quite possibly my favourite area too, as well as the Cloutie Tree which I pinched as an idea for my garden.
I also love the touches of Paganism you find, nestled between areas like Monastery Gardens. It’s beautiful and there’s something for everyone there.
Are you a gardener?
I am, yes. I have quite a big south-facing garden which is like the Forth Road Bridge – you finish sorting it out and have to start at the beginning again. We have had some lovely Garden Parties with friends as one particular corner gets the sun all day, right up until sunset in the summer. There’s also a nice big lawn for badminton, kicking a ball around and swingball, and it still leaves space for a tent when my son used to like to put one up when he was younger. I love my garden and it’s been a godsend this last couple of years. My dad is great – he helps out as much as he can to help me keep on top of it as I do have a day job as well and my husband works away for a couple of months at a time, but I definitely think I inherited my gran’s green fingers. I can usually get stuff to grow – like sticking a broken-off rose bush branch in soil and it’ll create a new bush – but I have yet to manage her skill of growing apple and orange plants on a used teabag from pips!
Are you more wildflower meadows or neatly arranged flowerbeds?
Wildflower meadows. Rigid organisation would not work in my garden as it’s an extension of my chaotic house. Neat flowerbeds do look lovely in formal gardens though. But there’s something quite romantic about wildflower meadows I think – or maybe when I’m imagining myself drifting around in a floofy frock with my watercolour equipment, I’m remembering that Cadbury’s Flake advert of my youth!
Do you prefer scented flowers or colour?
Difficult one – I love watching the colours change over the year in my garden – the pink and green phase of the early magnolia blossoms turning into the yellow phase of the daffodils, then green again, then all of a sudden loads of warm colours appear from the red hot pokers and the roses, and the azaleas and rhododendrons. Then we segue into a purply, blueish phase with buddleias, which continues into autumn with Michaelmas Daisies. Then it’s yuk again until springtime! But I adore scented flowers and won’t buy a rose bush or a lily unless it’s scented, and I also have lavender and rosemary in tubs as well near the sun-trap bit.
Wedding transport – VW Campervan or Apothecary’s cart?
Oh my – can I go to the church in one, then the reception in the other please?! I would love to travel in both of them…
When I got married, my florist included rosemary in my bouquet, saying it was a symbol of fidelity, loyalty and remembrance. If you were making a bouquet for a bride what one flower/herb would it definitely contain?
Probably freesias. I had those, alstroemeria and roses in mine so it was yellow and white. Freesias are my mum’s favourite flower and they smell gorgeous as well as being very pretty. In the Victorian language of flowers, they symbolise friendship, trust and thoughtfulness which are key ingredients for a marriage, I think.
And finally, I hope it’s not the last we see of Schubert, but what’s next? What are you currently working on?
I have started a new book, and I actually pulled Bea out of It Started with a Wedding – we’re following her relationship with The Man, who lives in the big house, which is attached to her Garden. I didn’t intend Schubert to be in it, but it seems he’s wanting to be in it. Therefore, I’ve had to put it to one side until I decide (or Schubert decides) how much of a role he has in it. I’ve also got some edits due for my summer novel, which is the second Padcock book – so those will have to have priority when they comes in. Ask me in a few months when I still haven’t done Bea’s book, and I’ll be flapping about not delivering a new story! Actually, I’m already panicking ha ha!
Thank you so much for talking me today.
Thank you for having me. I really enjoyed chatting and you asked me some great questions – so thanks again!
You can find out more about Kirsty from:
And book links:
Kobo: It Started with a Wedding eBook by Kirsty Ferry – 9781781890608 | Rakuten Kobo United Kingdom
Google: It Started with a Wedding by Kirsty Ferry – Books on Google Play
Nook: It Started with a Wedding by Kirsty Ferry | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble® (barnesandnoble.com)
Website: It Started with a Wedding (choc-lit.com)
Goodreads: It Started with a Wedding by Kirsty Ferry (goodreads.com)