A Quickie with Joanna Barnard

Tell me about your latest book and why we should read it?

Hush Little Baby is about how a single event – a baby’s injury – causes the rest of the family to implode. Read it if you like character-based dramas with lots of secrets and lies. Oh, and the ending has sparked a lot of comments from those who’ve read it!

If someone was to write your life story what would the title be?

You Only Live Once.

What’s the strangest fan question or request you’ve received?

I must have very well-balanced readers because all of the questions I’ve been asked have been extremely intelligent and insightful! I have had requests to send books as far afield as India and Canada, which is thrilling.

If you could co-write with anyone in the world (alive or dead) who would it be?

I know he will probably curl up with embarrassment when he reads this but honestly, the person I’d most like to write with is my brother, Stephen. I have no idea how this would work in practice but he’s a really good writer and I feel like it would be a fun thing to do together.

Tell me something nobody else knows about you (yet!).

I don’t think there’s anything nobody knows, because I’m very open with my friends. But not everyone will know that my weirdest ever job was as a cleaner in a mortuary.

Finally please recommend 3 books that you have recently read and tell me why you’ve chosen these.

Nina is not OK by Shappi Khorsandi managed to be bleak and funny all at once. The main character is a teenage girl going off the rails, and her voice is so convincing. It pulls no punches and I loved it.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas is another book with a young female narrator, and shines a light on police racism and violence in the US. The story is unfortunately all too believable and the main character’s journey incredibly powerful and moving.

I’ve just finished The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel and it will haunt me for quite a while. It has a very dark subject matter but the writing is so deft and beautiful. I couldn’t put it down.

Who is Joanna Barnard: Joanna Barnard is an English Literature graduate and works in marketing. In 2014, she won the inaugural Bath Novel Award and her first novel, Precocious, was published by Ebury in July. A Northerner currently exiled in the South of England, Joanna misses flat vowels, friendly bus drivers and chips and gravy.

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