I like to be warm and comfy when I write. Tea, blankets, and a couch are generally involved.
2. Internet on or off while you’re writing?
Definitely on. When used sparingly, thesaurus.com can be your best friend during the writing process.
3. Which book/poem do you wish you’d written?
I remember feeling an incredible sense of envy upon I finishingOne Hundred Years of Solitude by the late, great Gabriel García Márquez. I love the way he seamlessly blends dream worlds with reality, and admire the patience and execution with which he crafts generations of a family into one novel.
4. Which book are you constantly lending your friends?
I rave to whoever will listen to me about We Need To Talk About Kevin, by Lionel Shriver. I think some people are surprised when to realise that it’s not about an adolescent killer, but much more about his mother, who tells her family’s story in epistolary form. It’s such an important book that explores many taboo subjects for modern women. No stone is left unturned by Shriver when delving into the psychology of her flawed characters.
5. Best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received?
I was once advised to avoid piles of abstraction, especially for abstraction’s sake, and that I should try to be more visceral. Ground your piece in reality, even ever so faintly, or you will lose your reader. This is something I hold close to me.
6. If you could only read and re-read one book for the rest of your life, which one would it be?
The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera.
7. Which book do you only pretend to like to look cool/well-read?
War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. I’ve tried multiple times, but can never get passed about page 50! I find it overbearing and baffling
8.What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on a journalistic-style piece, which is a first for me, as I predominately write fiction. It is about the exclusion of political groups in UN definition of genocide.