Staying in with Kirsten Nairn


Running this new feature of Staying in with … on Linda’s Book Bag I’m getting to meet all kinds of authors and books I wouldn’t have otherwise come across. Today I have a very enigmatic guest to stay in with – Kirsten Nairn, author of A Sorry Affair. I don’t have an author image to share of Kirsten because no-one she knows is aware that she has written a book!

If you’re an author who’d also like to stay in with me and tell me about one of your books, please click here for more details.

Staying in with Kirsten Nairn

Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag Kirsten, and thank you for agreeing to stay in with me.

Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?

A Sorry Affair by Kirsten Nairn, is my first published novel, but not the first story I have written. I have a number of others which are in varying stages of completion and I tend to work on them all simultaneously. However, this was the first story I worked on until it was finished. Possibly like many new authors, I had no intention of going to publication, but once the story was finished I was left with an overriding feeling of what’s it all for if not to share? So here I am with my first publication.

As a new author I am keen to find out what people think of it.

(I think being a new author can be quite a daunting prospect actually Kirsten.)

What can we expect from an evening in with A Sorry Affair ?

Be prepared for romance, heartache and an ending which hopefully leaves the reader hanging, wondering about the next steps in the lives of the main characters and what they’d do in the same situation.

It is set in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, a city close to my own heart, a city which I consider to be more romantic than Paris, but then I am biased.

It’s a romantic novel which examines the complexities of relationships and the heartache which can often accompany love. The story is told from the perspective of the three main characters, Mack and Jen, the archetypical golden couple, together since they were students and Abbi, who Mack finds himself drawn to, and eventually falling in love with. He ends up unintentionally in love with two women. Powerless to do anything about it, watches his life slowly unravel before his eyes.

The idea for the story began as a simple question. What does it feel like to be the adulteress? To be the other woman? The sympathy, understandably, is always directed at the innocent party but what if there are two innocent parties? What if you are the ‘other woman’ and are completely unaware that you’re having an affair?

(Oo. Great premise for a novel, Kirsten.)

This story has been described as A beautiful story of pain and sadness as the ‘perfect’ engagement unravels: a tale of the unwitting downward spiral and destruction of a perfect relationship: emotional and full of suspense.

I would describe this is an ‘easy read’ but that’s not to say there’s no depth to it. My hope is that the reader will connect with all the characters and in doing so, be faced with the dilemma as to where their sympathies lie and ask themselves what they would do in a similar situation. The story is really based on the premise that for most people love is rarely black and white but varying shades of grey.

(Yes indeed it is, even in the most ‘perfect’ of relationships I think.)

The idea for the story came to me on train journey to Edinburgh on overhearing the conversation of a hen party who were enjoying a few glasses of prosecco. Thankfully the prosecco meant they weren’t talking as quietly as they thought they were, so I heard the story from start to finish. They had no sympathy for the adulteress which begged the question for me,  What does it feel like to be the adulteress in an affair? To be the other woman?

As the story unfolded in my mind I began to consider it from all points of view and wondered about the person committing the affair. What if he really didn’t mean to have an affair?

I immediately began tapping out the story on my mobile phone and wished I was on a much longer train journey.

(So not just a train journey, but a journey to publication too. How wonderful.)

What else have you brought along this evening and why?

Mmm, that’s tricky. There are so many things/ people I would like to bring along. Given that my husband and children don’t know I’ve written this or any other book, I think they’d be speechless (a first) if I brought them.

(Wow – you’d certainly surprise them!)

Sadly, my first thought was that I’d have to bring my phone and laptop since most of my writing takes place on these whilst waiting to pick my children up from various after school activities and I cannot underestimate the contribution they have played in enabling me to write anytime and anywhere! However, that would be pretty boring. I love to reminisce, and like the character Mack, I love nothing better than to pour a glass of red wine and rummage through all my old CDs, playing songs which remind me of my own student days in Edinburgh. So, after not too much deliberating, I’d bring wine and CDs (anything from the 80s onwards) and hopefully there would something we’d both like.

(I was a student until 1983 so I’m sure we’d find plenty in common Kirsten – as long as I can have some Roxy Music!)

Thanks so much for staying in and telling me about A Sorry Affair Kirsten. I’m intrigued as to whether you’ll ever tell your family that you’re a published author…

A Sorry Affair


Jen and Mack are the perfect couple; meeting at university, moving in together and engaged to be married.

Then, one day, Abbi turns up on their doorstep and throws a huge spanner in the works of their seemingly well-oiled relationship. On that day, Mack’s life is turned upside down and it seems there’s no way back. Resigned to the fact that the relationship is over and Jen is selling the house, Mack is forced to go back home and live with his parents. He comes to blows with his father, who was close friends with Jen’s father, and emotions run high when past hurts are revisited. Despite several letters from Mack, years pass without any word from Jen.

The reader is left in suspense, always wanting more and wondering if it really is the end for Jen and Mack.

A Sorry Affair is published by Austin Macauley and is available for purchase here.

About Kirsten Nairn

Slightly differently to usual, I’m letting Kirsten introduce herself.

I was born and live in Scotland with my husband, two young children and the usual array of pets which seem to accompany small children. The last thing I would describe myself as in ‘an author’, having studied science at Edinburgh University when dungarees were in fashion and Dexy’s Midnight Runners could still cut it with the young ones.

I’ve always had stories going on at the back of my mind though but just have never found the time to actually write anything down. I naively thought I might start writing when I was on maternity leave but now realise I was lucky if I was dressed before noon.

Many many years later I found myself at a ‘loose end’, opened the computer and put ‘pen to paper’ as it were. Once I started writing I just couldn’t stop. I found my first story unfolding in my head way faster than I could type.

Nobody knows that I write or that I have had a book published. Not even my husband or my children.

I don’t know why I haven’t told anyone. I carry it around with me like a guilty secret, well, more like a guilty pleasure actually. I fire up my laptop and pretend I’m working as I tap furiously away into the wee small hours. My husband occasionally remarks that I seem to have a lot of work to do in the evenings, but more often than not he’s completely oblivious, just raising his head enough to remark that my typing is noisy and somewhat distracting.

The biggest problem for me isn’t writer’s block, but physically and mentally finding the time to write. I am a full time working mum of two energetic children who have a hectic, action packed social calendar, which brings me full circle to the importance of all electronic gadgets. I would never have managed any of this with an old fashioned type-writer!

Kirsten has a Facebook page and you’ll find her newly arrived on Twitter @KirstenNairn.

7 thoughts on “Staying in with Kirsten Nairn

  1. I can totally empathise, Kirsten. I also started writing secretly, although I did eventually tell my husband and children. However the wider world didn’t know until well after I’d published and I can clearly remember the day I ‘came out’ to my village, it was a cathartic moment 🙂 I wish you all the best with your debut novel.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m intrigued by the idea of the ‘adulteress’ not knowing she is having an affair. A friend of mine didn’t tell her family she was writing until she was published – they were stunned. In a good way 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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