Going out in the midday sun

Four Londoners out of 8 million – through a series of coincidences their lives begin to intertwine . . .

Holly spends most of her days in her old Saab, fighting the snarling traffic, singing songs of escape from the superficial world of advertising photography. Her large dark paintings are taking over the flat in Muswell Hill; she believes in Fate and is waiting for it to reveal something unexpected.

Peter has just extricated himself from a relationship based on . . . lust really — his violin playing had become offensive to her, as well as his socks. He now yearns to escape his day job and follow his own musical path, in bare feet and old black Savile Row suit.

Sandra is using her degree in English literature to compose fatuous blurb for an estate agent in Highgate while her first novel waits in her head. She just needs time, and to discover if her real parents are kindly doves or sinister crows.

Dodging flying crockery, vegetables and Gallic verbal assault in the West End kitchen of ‘Le Tour Blanc’, Jasper dreams of opening his own restaurant, somewhere well away from his family: with someone awe-inspiring . . . definitely not Adam.

I’d just read a rather dreary saga – I can’t now remember what – and at the end thought ‘Mm, I wonder what it would be like to write an actual novel’. I’d written a lot of childern’s stories, including ‘Alfi Beasti, Don’t Eat That!’ (published in 2004) but hadn’t thought about writing for adults. A few days later, during a swim – often a good idea-sparking activity – the idea of ‘Going Out’ occurred to me. I got out, started writing and continued for three years until the trilogy was complete. When I glance at the writing now, I know I would do it very differently but I am happy for the books to be out there and know from much feedback that they are appreciated. Perhaps if I (when!) I succeed in getting traditionally published, I might consider a re-write for the trilogy. Might.

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Praise for ‘Going out in the midday sun’

This is a very promising first novel. The characters are entirely believable, and create interest as they develop.

Kate Hardy has made very good use of her detailed knowledge of London in the early scenes, so that the settings ring true.  Her experience of the several diverse jobs she undertook, especially in her younger adulthood, gives authenticity to her characters’ lives and work. I find her attention to their inner worlds very interesting – and here and there, the contrasts between thoughts and words realistic – and funny!

The story gathers momentum – urging me on to the next page.The gradual weaving together of her characters’ lives is most ingenious, and Kate uses her knowledge of France to very good advantage in re-establishing them in their new settings. I felt a sense of loss as I finished the book – I look forward to the next installment of the trilogy!

Hampshire Freudian Rose

Kate A. Hardy’s debut novel is one of those holiday reads that make you sincerely consider not bothering to go home. I suppose many of us have wondered at some point whether it would be possible finally to jack in the day job and somehow make a living somewhere idyllic.
Going Out in the Midday Sun tells of three frustrated arty types and a gay chef who decide to escape the London rat-race and find out whether life really is all sun, sea, sand and sex, if you’re doing it full-time and having to turn a dollar as well. Actually there’s a fair bit of sex even before any of them make it to their new lives in the south of France; I figure you have to do something in London while it’s raining . . .
Kate is clearly genuinely interested in the complexities of human relationships, observing her characters’ personal stories with perception and humour. I sincerely recommend that you get comfortable by the pool, pour the wine, slap on the sun cream and start reading

Eddie Castellan