Interview with Author Kate Quinn Read it later

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I first came across Kate Quinn’s books when I picked up a copy of The Rose Code a few months ago. The eye for detail Quinn has in her writing instantly drew me into her book, making me a fan. I could not wait to get the chance to interview Quinn about her latest short story Signal Moon.

Kate Quinn
Meet Author Kate Quinn!

Kate, welcome! I’m so excited to have you join and talk to you about your newest short story Signal Moon. For those who haven’t read it, tell us what’s it about.

It’s the story of Lily and Matt, two Navy petty officers who “meet” via radio channel and have to team up to stave off an impending deadly attack that might just kick off World War III. The trouble is, she’s in 1943, and he’s in 2023.

The timespan jump in this story is a major theme entwining the two stories of Matt and Lily. How did you come up with this concept?

I love sci-fi, yet I’ll be the first to admit I do not understand the temporal mechanics that might explain how actual time travel might be possible. But I loved the idea of voices and radio waves making a somehow-it-works link between two people in different time periods (yes, I saw the movie Frequency ages ago and loved it!) So when I was noodling with an idea about WWII’s Y-station listeners—many of them young women—who spent their war plugged into headphones listening for German radio traffic, my active duty Navy husband suggested, “Cross it with something modern-day Navy?” And so the idea of a 1940s Y-station listener literally crossing channels into a different war was born.

Do you have a favorite scene you are most excited for readers to read?

The scene where Lily finds a way to contact Matt through a set of headphones and an old wireless radio, and the two finally begin talking: a woman from WWII, a man from modern times, building trust across an eighty-year gap in time. He can’t believe what she’s saying, she can’t understand any of his pop-culture references, yet a bond starts forming. There’s quite a lot of humor as they start building that bridge between them—I loved seeing it happen as I wrote it!

Signal Moon by Kate Quinn

Genre: Historical Fiction

This story follows Lily Baines in 1943 who hears a cry for help from a young US officer on an American ship. The problem is he calling her via radio in 2023.

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What inspired you to tell the story of Matt and Lily? Are they based on the real story of two people in 1943?

Lily is loosely based on Pat Davies, a real petty officer in the Wrens (Women’s Royal Naval Service) who spent her war as a Y Station listener in a hotel-turned-listening station in Withernsea, Yorkshire. Pat detailed her experiences beautifully in Tessa Dunlop’s “The Bletchley Girls,” which I read while researching a previous book of mine, “The Rose Code.”

Matt is a composite of several real-life modern-day naval signals technicians I’ve been lucky enough to meet—my husband did a lot of editing work to help hone the ship-to-ship radio scenes and the at-sea attack in Signal Moon and also put me in touch with some Navy colleagues who could tell me how to write Matt’s job accurately. The work Lily and Matt do might look very different on the outside, but at its core, it is the same: tense, nerve-shredding work in little cold rooms, listening for enemy chatter on airwaves, and knowing that lives are at stake.

Let’s talk about writing now. Did you always want to be a writer?

I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t! I wrote my first short story at seven and my first novel at ten.

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Get your copy of Signal Moon on Amazon!

This short story and other stories you’ve written are historical fiction. What is it about that genre that attracted you to write in it?

My mother was a librarian, and her degree was in ancient and medieval history. I was always getting stories from the past as I was growing up, so that’s where I gravitated as soon as I began writing tales of my own.

Walk us through your day when crafting one of your stories. Do you wake up early? Write in the afternoon. Need silence?

I do not get up early unless dragged. Mornings are for coffee, dog-walking, social media, emails, the gym, and more coffee. I eat a five-minute lunch of whatever I can reheat straight out of the fridge, then write all afternoon. I love music when I write—I listen to a lot of movie soundtracks and period music, whatever will help me evoke the time I’m writing in. My dogs snuggle up next to me while I work, and at some point, early in the evening, my husband will gently drag the laptop away, place a glass of wine in my hand, and turn on the Boston Red Sox.

Can readers expect a sequel to Signal Moon?

Right now, I’d say that I think the story is complete…but never say never.

Are there any upcoming releases you’ll be publishing this year?

My next release is “The Phoenix Crown,” co-authored with my fabulous friend and colleague Janie Chang—the story of a New York opera singer and a Chinatown seamstress whose lives intersect in the chaos of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. It releases in the fall of 2023, and I can’t wait!

Before I let you go, where can readers find you on social media?

I’m on Facebook on my author page, @KateQuinnAuthor. My Twitter handle is also @KateQuinnAuthor. And on Instagram, I’m @katequinn5975. You can frequently find me on any or all of the above, procrastinating from my word count!

Thank you Kate! What did you think of my Interview with Author Kate Quinn?

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Popular books from the author

The Rose Code by Kate Quinn

Genre: Historical Fiction

The story is set in 1940 and follows three girls who head to country estate Bletchley Park to train to break codes from Germany.

Read more reviews on the book index here

Buy this Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-million | Audible

The Diamond Eye by Kate Quinn

Genre: Historical Fiction

1937. The story follows Mila Pavlichenko who is given a rifle and learns to shoot to protect herself. Based on a true story, Mila must learn how to life after the war in this haunting account.

Read more reviews on the book index here

Buy this Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-million | Audible

The Alice Network by Kate Quinn

Genre: Historical Fiction

1947. The story follows Charlie who gets shipped off to Europe when her parents learn she is pregnant and unwed. 1915. The story follows Eve during The Great War. The two stories are tied together in unexpected ways.

Read more reviews on the book index here

Buy this Book: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-a-million | Audible

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Signal Moon by Kate Quinn
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