Katherine Hayton | 2014 August

August 2014

I was working through our holiday itinerary the other day – yes we have an itinary 1) catch plane 2) get off in holiday-land – and I realised that the date that we arrived reminded me of something. Hmmmm. Now – what was that. We’re away for ten days so there’s a few things happening? The election? No – that’s a different date and we’ve made arrangements for that anyway. Our rental car? Well, yes but I’m sure there was something… something else…

Oh, that’s right. On the same date that we go on holiday my giveaway on Goodreads ends. The same date that I’m meant to autograph, address, wrap, and post five books out to complete strangers is the day we also have to be at the airport at 4.10am (yes AM that’s not a misprint.)

So one of those things is not going to happen, right? Can you guess which one?

Never even crossed my mind to check the end date. I waited until the books arrived because I didn’t want to look like a dick if I listed them and then they took the full eight weeks possible to get to me so I was late sending them and made a very bad first impression with the readers who (some at least) I very much hope are going to take the time at some point to tell the rest of the Goodreads community what they thought and I don’t want to skew that the wrong way.

On the bright side I’m soon going to be on holiday for two weeks in what I think is the nicest place on earth (after Christchurch of course) – Mission Beach, Tropical North Queensland, Australia.

I’ll stress out about it when I get back home. I’m sure I’ll be able to deal with it better then.

Posted by Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog Read More

It’s started to freak me out how much it freaks me out to hand over my debut baby to some stranger and then wait to find out what they thought via review. I understand that it’s important that reader’s be able to review the book with their actual opinion otherwise the review is worthless; but likewise if they don’t like it then the review is useless to me.

So I was very please when two of the first of seventeen potential reviews that I’ve asked, begged, funded and plead for came through with a positive response.

I still had fear tingles while I was reading them through. I’d already seen the rating so I knew there shouldn’t be anything bad in there, but I did worry until I’d gotten to the last word and then read it out to my partner to make sure that I hadn’t misinterpreted anything because I was still strung out and shaking.

Yeah, this is my life now. I put my pride and joy out into the world and it’s turned me into a nervous wreck. I should get back on my SSRIs and let THEM ride the storm but who can be bothered with the three weeks of side effects until they start to work.

Still, why am I complaining when I have two, count them TWO, 5 star reviews back and a nice wee silver star that I can stick (electronically) to my book cover in an effort to attract more views (sales). You can read both of them below if you’d like. That saves me having to type any more tonight!

Reviewed By Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite

Found, Near Water by Katherine Hayton is a tale of suspense. Christine has recently lost her daughter and runs a Victim Support unit. Having been a psychiatrist for many years, she also now works as a Victim Support officer with the police. One day she is asked to visit Rena, a woman in hospital who was involved in a car accident. Rena seems to be saying that she has a daughter who is missing, but when they talk to her ex-husband, he doesn’t mention the child. Christine has to determine if Rena is telling the truth or not. The ex-husband is not an easy man to talk to; a paedophile is on the loose in the area, having just been released from prison on parole, and a psychic who knows perhaps more than she should. The story is intertwined with 6 other stories – women who have all lost a daughter and with a crime that has been committed across many generations.

Found, Near Water by Katherine Hayton was a great read. Full of surprising twists, a great storyline and some very good characters all mixed up to be a thrilling read. Once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down until it was over and even then, it wasn’t really over. I was left wanting more than the story offered – and that is not a criticism of Ms Hayton. That is the mark of a great storyteller to make someone want more when they finish a book rather than just being glad they finished it!

Reviewed By Mamta Madhavan for Readers’ Favorite

Found, Near Water by Katherine Hayton is a compelling story that will keep readers glued to it with its intrigue and mystery. Rena Sutherland’s daughter, four-year-old Chloe, is missing. No one knows since when because no one knew she had gone missing in the first place. Rena notices it first when she wakes up from her coma. Christine Emmett has enough problems of her own, but as a victim support officer, she tries to help Rena. A lot of other people make the search tougher; Rena’s ex-husband, a paedophile and a psychic. And beneath all this ongoing confusion is a crime that adds to the intrigue and mystery of the story. Will Rena be able to find her daughter?

The plot is mysterious and intriguing and will keep readers riveted. The plot takes you through many twists and turns that enhance the plot. Rena lying in the hospital bed is the main character in the story and her character portrayal has been executed well. The victim support officer, Christine, is another character in the story that will remain etched in your memory once you put the book down. I liked the manner in which the characters get introduced in different chapters. Whether it is Tina, Ilene or Kendra, the author has managed to weave their parts into the main plot with great expertise. The crime angle in the story is what will blow the minds of readers with its suspense and intrigue.

And if you’re interested you can buy it here and write your own opinion.

Posted by Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog Read More

A few years ago I was convinced that I was doing any number of things that were about to lead me into straight into the face of death. Without even knowing it. It was going to be one of those things that seemed fairly innocent – I’d already given up drinking and smoking after all – but something in my genetic makeup was going to surprise me and I was going to find out that if only I’d known beforehand I wouldn’t be dying horribly from… whatever it was.

Torn between purchasing the hypochondriacs handbook and never going to see a doctor ever again, I instead invested in a little tube that I spat into and then posted overseas (after declaring that it was perfectly fine to post even though it was classed as a biological hazard.)

A few weeks later data poured into my membership page. At last, at my fingertips, I had the keys to my genetic code and I could fathom the full depths of all diseases to see which ones I was likely to die of. Unless the genetic testing attached to them was separately patented. Like, you know, BRCA1 & 2. Which I kinda wanted to know. And kinda thought I would.

Not to worry though, I still got to give myself a few good scares. The ones you really, really don’t want to have are carefully hidden away and you have to verify that you understand the consequences that will result if you open them and find out you have a high risk of dying of it, because you can’t unsee that s**t. Ever.

There weren’t too many horrible surprises. I have triple normal risk for psoriasis (big tick), double normal risk for Alzheimers (and it was at a higher prevalence than I’d realised so that was a double double-shock) and Bi-polar (I’m not), and I was a carrier for alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency with increased risk of liver and lung disease.

Which did explain a few things about attacks of dry pleurisy that kept being noted down as idiopathic. And made me glad I’d already given up drinking and smoking because that, oddly, would’ve been harder if I had to because it was going to kill me. It would’ve really felt like giving something up, instead of just stopping something I didn’t like doing and something that felt like it was killing me. Especially the bits of me I liked.

It was all very interesting, and I keep checking back on the site to see which information has been updated because new discoveries are made all the time in genetics. Some solid. Most tenuous.

Another service offered, which I didn’t really need or care about, was an ancestry overview that told me which matriarchal lines I was descended from, where my genetics groups had moved from and were most populous in (Basque region anyone?), and which members of the site had the most similar genetics to mine – indicating a relationship.

This section also, not surprisingly, had a large opt-out question that you had to go through before you found out the information. There have been at least one, and possibly a few more unreported, cases in which someone discovered they were adopted and their real family was suddenly available to be contacted at the click of a button.

Once again, these are things that you can’t unsee.

But I didn’t have any drama. There’s been a constant stream of 3rd to 6th cousins noted in my file since joining, and every few months the tally jumps up a couple of notches. I’ve exchanged DNA information with a few, but never actually pinpointed a common ancestor.

Until today. I researched a name that a contact provided to me, and discovered that we share a great-great-grandfather, which makes us 4th cousins. It was really quite exciting. I looked up my Ancestry.com account to trace back the family tree and see if I could work out which other child her lineage may have sprung from, but our common ancestor having had ten children all with the highly distinctive name of Mitchell, and naming them exotic things like John, Edward, Elizabeth, makes it all a bit hard to know if you’ve got the right person, or even the right generation.

Well, at least I’ll have someone to look after me as I live into my disease-free old age. I’ll let her know.

Posted by Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog Read More

Lunch-time talk today didn’t take it’s usual turn down ebola-update avenue. Instead, we categorised our own list of woes. Myself, I’ve woken up with a headache for the past two days. I usually get stabbing in my right eye headaches, but this was a new one. Pulsing back of the head headache, and I found out pretty quickly that you don’t want to bend forward with this one clanging in the back of your brain.

But that’s okay. I have access to Panadol and Nurofen and if it gets any worse I think the opioid caress of Codeine might need to make a stopover.

Truth be told I probably wouldn’t have dragged myself into work today, but having been sick only last week I feel somewhat obliged to try to actually do some work in return for my living.

Meanwhile, this headache seems to be catching. Opposite me was the image of death warmed up, with aches and pains so uncomfortable that even a cat-nap during a lunch-break was out of the question.

And sitting right next to me was a pain-filled half-face. Jaw pain – one side only; Sinuses blocked – one side only; Nose running – one side only. Still, could be worse.

Usually people only walk off to meetings looking like they’re about to land on the beaches of Gallipoli when there’s some genuine problem, but today there were grim faces everywhere when people just went for a coffee and a catch-up.

Even the wholesome win when the side I was on managed to produce evidence (not by my hand I’m far too lazy) direct from the manufacturer to prove that on Chocolate Thins the chocolate is ON THE BOTTOM was not enough to cheer people up. Especially if you were on the losing side.

Thanks be to the Gods of Labour that we only have a 40 hour working week (or 37.5 hours to be exact because some of us are more equal than others) so that tomorrow is the last day I have to drag my sorry carcass into the office. I wonder who else will make it.

Posted by Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog Read More

I received an unsolicited message from Orcon yesterday. They cheerfully announced that due to demand (not from me) they had auto-enabled Global Mode so that I could surf the web uninhibited by the fact that I am a foreign person and live in an inferior country (or so Cards for Humanity would have me believe.)

No more would I need to use Borat-proxy (my all-time favourite) to surf into places I probably shouldn’t go while pretending to the gullible computers on the other end that I was Big American Person.

No more tunnel-bear (my second favourite and far more useful) to dig deep into the core of the computer network and pretend that I’m from the UK or US or Canada or half a dozen others (including My Closest Tunnel which turns out to be Japan – well done Japan).

No more.

Now I’m a real citizen of the web and I can go anywhere and do anything and sign up and pay for everything I want (as long as I’m morally okay about fibbing about my home address and making up a phone number.)

So I try to create an account on Netflix – and discover that this would be easier if I could actually get onto their site. Never mind. Can’t be bothered to be available when I want you – there are other options out there you know. Hello hulu.com! Or rather, hello ‘Problem loading page’.com. Well, maybe crackle? Maybe not. BBC.co.uk? Nope.


Nice one Orcon. You scored another slum-dunk.

Ahhhhh Borat. So good to see you again.

Posted by Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog Read More

I’ve been quite enjoying the rivalry in the latest series of The Amazing Race Australia, not least of all because it’s actually the Amazing Race Australia vs New Zealand, and to date we had been beating their asses.

There was the first challenge when we beat the Aussies in the tug-of-war despite them having Tyson – the largest guy in the world – on their team. New Zealanders know how to plant their feet and tug.

Then the end of the first episode saw the elimination of the first Aussie team. Oh, poor things. They can’t help it that their country’s stupid.

This was followed in the second episode by another Aussie elimination. As is now the custom.

There was a slight hitch in the next episode as they eliminated a NZ couple for the first time. It hurt too as they were the ones I was really enjoying because they displayed my same level of physical fitness. Very little, and only for short periods of time.

On the other hand it made it acceptable for them to go. They would never have won. Which is why I’d never enter one of these competitions. Failure is hard. Acceptance is also hard, but easier than failure.

But then tonight… I almost couldn’t watch.

It seemed certain that things would go back to their usual stance. The beautiful and clever Aussie ICU nurses went to the wrong university campus. The one that was really, really far away instead of the one that was right by the airport. There was no way they’d be able to catch back up with that sort of start. Meanwhile back at the roadblock a guy out of one of the NZ teams decided it was a great idea to not drink any water. In Namibia. In the heat of the day. He really didn’t understand why he started to feel quite bad and faint and crampy until he actually collapsed.

The NZ team member who was now his nemesis even stopped to help him up and get him going. But we never saw him drink any water. And he kept getting cramps. And complaining with whiny repetition about how much his cramps hurt, and how he couldn’t see.

In the end the NZ team completed their challenge quicker, but couldn’t get to the mat before the Aussies because he was lying down on the track with cramp and whimpers.

Now I’m only watching under suffering. I’m also appreciating the Amazing Race Canada instead. It’s sometimes nice not to have skin in the game.

Posted by Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog Read More

trying to navigate the multitude of sites of Playstation Network and Playstation Plus and Sony Entertainment Network and whatever else they’ve managed to erect as a barrier to me finding out what the current free line-up is on my Instant Game Collection (because everything is interesting when you’re meant to be working,) but now a DOS attack on the site and a bomb scare for a Sony executive? Come on people.

Sure, they handed all my private information out with their insecure systems so I had to change all of my passwords and still can’t quite get the hang of them so I hit on the “forgot password” link as often as I type one in – but so did Hell’s Pizza and no one’s toppling their website. That may have something to do with Satan’s protection of course, but lets not go there.

And yes, they don’t care about the repeated error messages I get from their systems saying that they can’t connect to my wireless network and in lieu of fixing AN OBVIOUS PROBLEM AT THEIR END keep saying I need to update the router I bought brand-new a couple of weeks ago and which every other piece of electronica in my household has no problem connecting to no matter how old or how few bars display on their decrepit equipment screens.

So I understand you’re annoyed, but this is what social media is for. Go out trolling for an evening and stop phoning in bomb threats.

And if anyone has worked out an easy way to navigate the tangled and slow network of awkward websites that have built up in “support” of my beautiful PS4 please let me know.

Posted by Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog Read More

I was sitting on the couch. Involved in watching the welcome return of Doctor Who, and the chance to see Peter Capaldi in a role that doesn’t involve non-stop swearing (though I imagine that would also be quite awesome and something that Stephen Moffat should definitely consider – an after-the-watershed version of Doctor Who in consultation with Armando Ionnucci would be a thing of wonder and no I don’t mind cast-typing if it gets me what I want.)

I knew it was Sunday. Minutes earlier I’d made my office lunch for Monday, and then realised I didn’t need it because we have an off-site lunch tomorrow and therefore I’d been super-organised and prepared an office lunch for Tuesday, something that I usually only manage on a Tuesday morning.

And then a dreadful thing happened. I thought for a couple of minutes of how nice it would be to sleep in tomorrow because I’m still feeling quite knackered, and the joy of not having to get up in time for early-morning Saturday shopping would be great.

Except I do have to get up tomorrow because it’s Monday.

What happened? Why did my usual time-keeping and day-keeping ability get out of synch so that I thought that tomorrow was going to be a wonderful day instead of the hell it will be? Not that I hate my job, I love it quite a lot in fact, but having to get up early, having to shower and dress according to a timetable, having to get to the office and realise that no matter what I do I’m probably going to be there for more waking hours than I’ll be at home with my loved one is not something to put joy into my heart.

The feeling when I work up to the normal time-stream was akin to stepping onto a level pavement and finding out that you’ve actually started down a staircase (though without the teeth-snapping and bubble of laughter to show you’ve made an ass of yourself – which occurs whether there are people around or not, why is that? – and the pain in the back of your heel.)

It led me to consider which is the worse situation; thinking it’s Saturday and realising it’s Sunday and your weekend is over; or thinking it’s Friday and realising it’s Thursday and your weekend is postponed by a FULL day?

Does anyone ever get the conviction that it’s a day it isn’t and the real day is MORE than a day out?

Many things to ponder. Comments welcome below.

Posted by Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog Read More

I have been mucho distracted today while trying to work out when my Kindle Countdown Deal on Amazon.co.uk would actually be starting. My previous attempt to align advertising and suchlike on the Kindle Countdown Deal on Amazon.com was a miserable failure as I only realised when I updated my ads that they then get resubmitted for approval – a process that mysteriously takes the full 48 hours on a weekend, whereas it usually pops back as approved within six hours on a weekday. I mean, what are they doing?

So this time I had my ads pre-approved, and paused ready-to-go. I set up a reminder to check that the deal had in actuality started when it was meant to start (so that I didn’t start advertising something that then pinged back to me as not happening) and it was there that the trouble and the tedium set in.

Now I know that these are websites, and as such they’re not strictly on the same time zone as the country they’re meant to represent, but really? Nine-thirty in the morning is when you think the day starts, Amazon? What are you? A teenager?

Don’t get me started on teenagers again.

So I spent the better part of the day unable to write, or play computer games, or pay attention to the three TV series that I’ve been enjoying immensely for six, eight and ten weeks respectively which all came to a halt today – why TV God? Why? – because I felt compelled to keep checking to see whether or not Amazon had woken up in the UK.

I think that in order to stop authors going stir-crazy, and losing full days which could be better spent writing (not that I would spend them that way, but still) there should be an immediate consensus that everywhere on the Internet is now set to the same time-zone – Internetland time or ILT – and just to keep things nice and crisp and fresh that could just happen to align with New Zealand time. I mean, we’re pretty much first in the world anyway – sorry Samoa but if you insist on changing time-zones willy-nilly you are going to be overlooked – and so it all just makes sense.

Then all I need is a watch, and I come equipped with one of those already.

Start a petition now (’cause I’m too lazy) and get it done Internet peeps.

Oh, and if you happen to live in the UK you may be interested to know there’s a Kindle Countdown Deal on an excellent debut novel by a wonderful writer that I can personally recommend. Only 99p at the moment, but be warned – the deal’s counting down and it’s going to run out soon so be in quick to make sure it doesn’t slip away.

Click here for Kindle Countdown Deal

Posted by Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog Read More