A Quickie with Sarah Stovell

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

It’s a book about a very intense love that develops between two female writers… Or does it? Julie Burchill calls it ‘mind-blowingly good’ and if it’s good enough for her, I reckon it’s good enough for you.

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

‘Can’t I just be everything?’

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

I don’t think I’ve had any. I feel a bit disappointed now.

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

I couldn’t co-write with anyone. The thought of it fills me with horror.

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

I have only just worked this out about myself, but for every two books I write, only one of them is any good. I think this is because I write really quickly and the first novel is often just a scribbling on the way to the right one.

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

This Must be the Place by Maggie O’Farrell. The characterisation in this novel is superb and it is structurally complicated without being a mind-fuck.

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. I first read this in 2004 and loved it. i went back to it recently in time for the series on Netflix. The prose takes my breath away.

Motherhood by Helen Simpson. This is one of the Vintage Minis series. These series are aimed at suckers like me. I have the whole lot on my living room windowsill. Anyway, ‘Motherhood’ is a collection of short stories about… Well, motherhood. I am a mother of two children and it’s a theme I never tire of (though I do tire of my children, come 9pm).

Who is Sarah Stovell? Sarah Stovell was born in 1977 and spent most of her life in the Home Counties before a season working in a remote North Yorkshire youth hostel made her realise she was a northerner at heart. She now lives in Northumberland with her partner and two children and is a lecturer in Creative Writing at Lincoln University. Her debut psychological thriller, Exquisite, is set in the Lake District.

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