Lucy Wilson is embarking upon her second season in the Swiss ski resort of Grondère. Through no fault of her own she finds herself in the middle of a life-long feud and a murder investigation… catches up with Kathryn Adams about her novel which explores the values of lifestyle choices and friendship and we discover how the book came to fruition.

We asked Kathryn “Why the book?”

“I have been wanting to write this book for a long time. I have always worked with words but, up to now, mostly editing and proofing other people’s work. It has taken me a long time to feel confident enough to produce something in my own voice. I read a lot and really felt that there was room in the market for a book of this type – a gentle holiday read, based in a ski resort with a decent plot, plenty of description and detail.

Skiing is often portrayed as elitist, and yet ski resorts, in my experience, are mostly full of people (residents and visitors) who just love sports, nature, the open air, being in the mountains, as well as (let’s not deny it) having a good time. With Death in Grondère, my aim was to show the world of skiing from a different (and for me, more authentic) angle.

It was also important to me to write a book that your average skier could relate to. So much is written about the elite skiers who do extraordinary things that I feel sometimes amateur skiers and their experience gets overlooked, but to me that is equally as valid and interesting. 

Like many writers, I am a terrible eavesdropper. For 20 years now, I have, with great affection, been spying on the people of and visitors to Verbier: they have been a great source of material. I have also done quite a lot of editorial and translation work for Verbier Life magazine and this has given me a privileged insight into the people who live here and the wacky things they do. I tried to capture some of that ‘wackiness’ in the book.  

Being married to a Swiss national (and being one myself now), I am always struck and amused by differences in culture and attitudes between different nationalities. I have tried to draw on these observations to inject a bit of humour into the exchanges between my ‘incomer’ characters and their Swiss interlocutors. I hope I have done so kindly.

Verbier possesses many colourful and inspirational people, some of whom have kindly allowed me to use them as a starting point for my characters. It is amazing though, how those characters took control of their own destinies. Poppy, for example, was only supposed to have a cameo role: she ended up being one of my major protagonists and, arguably, my most endearing. Knowing the original, I should have expected it.

The inclusion of Ski4All Wales was important to me too. One of the messages I have tried to convey in Death in Grondère is that skiing is something that can be practised and enjoyed by anyone, regardless of skill level. These amazing people work very hard to make that a reality.

Once I started writing, the storyline and characters all fell into place like a jigsaw puzzle; I had such fun during the creative part of the process that sometimes, when an idea came to me, I laughed out loud. 

The editing process was much tougher: my panel of reviewers were brutal but encouraging, making me go back and restructure twice. They also made me change the title, originally ‘Death in Cherbier’: I thought it was good but I was totally overruled. Their input was key and I think they’re almost happy with it now.”

If you would like to get hold of a copy of Kathryn’s book you can order it online from price £6.99. It can also be ordered from any good bookshop using the using ISBN number 978-0-9957427-3-4, and it can now be found on Amazon too.