FAMILY is an important theme to novelist Kate Long, and her latest novel A Mother’s Guide To Cheating is no exception.

The book tells the story of “foxy” young grandmother Carol, whose relationship with her daughter Jaz is so bad that Jaz bans Carol from seeing her grandson, Matty.

Throughout the novel, we follow Carol’s’s attempts to get back into her daughter’s good books, and the unexpected romances that blossom along the way.

“There’s also the complete loser of a husband,” laughs Kate, whose debut novel The Bad Mother’s Handbook topped the bestseller lists and was made into a television series.

“I like those characters, the unreliable men.

"A male friend of mine who always reads the books says they’re his favourite, that he always roots for them even though they never end up with the heroine.

"Maybe next time I’ll have the unreliable man who reforms and gets the girl.”

Kate, who grew up in Blackrod, now lives in Shropshire with her husband and children.

She says that although the books are in no way based on her own life (“My husband’s Mr Reliable,” she says), some of her personal experiences have led to her asking questions which in turn have inspired the novels.

“Maybe, in a very peripheral way, I think the fact that I am adopted has made me think about what makes a mother,” she says.

“Is it someone who has given birth to you or is it more than that?

"And because I then found it difficult to have children myself, that made me think about it some more and how unfair it is that some people find it so easy and others don’t.”

With A Mother’s Guide To Cheating hitting shelves as we speak, Kate is currently halfway through a new novel about a woman in her 20s who has grown up knowing she has been adopted (“There it is again!” she says), and who contacted her birth mother when she was 18.

“She’s going through her 20s with two mothers, trying to please them both,” says Kate.

“I never had any interest in finding my birth family, but maybe this is a chance for me to explore vicariously what it might have been like.”

• A Mother’s Guide To Cheating is published on February 18, rrp £14.99