Hello and thank you for having me here to answer your fabulous questions about me and the reissue of my book, Control. Here are my slightly less fabulous but hopefully no less interesting answers!
1. What is the first book you remember reading as a child?
I want to say something really cool and smart here like Proust, but I haven’t even read Proust now at the age of thirty-four so I definitely can’t get away with that. Actually it was a Mr. Men book, and I recall it because it had the word brain in it and for some reason I could never work that one out. I kept saying bra and then not understanding why everyone laughed at the sentence “Mr. Clever had a big brain”.
2. What are you reading right now?
Longbourn, by Jo Baker. If you haven’t already read it, go read it now. I know I’m supposed to be promoting my own book but when it comes to this one I just can’t help it. It’s a retelling of Pride and Prejudice through the servants’ eyes and it’s amazing.
3. What is the last thing you Googled?
“Names that are like Stark”. I realized I had given my latest hero the same surname as an earlier hero of mine and so shot a desperate arrow into the dark. People think being a writer is all about meticulous research and finding your muse, when really a good sixty percent of it is frantically googling to solve ridiculous problems.
4. Is there a song that really reminds you of this book?
I always make playlists for each of my books – it helps me get into the right mindset as I’m writing. But there’s always one in particular that really sums the book up, and that’s The Blower’s Daughter in this case. There’s a line in it: come on courage, teach me to be shy. And that is everything I attempted with this book, and what I wanted to do with the hero, Gabriel. He’s gentle and good and yes – shy. But I love the idea of showing that those things are strengths, that they’re positive. And those words definitely embody that concept.
5. What was the easiest thing about writing this book?
I think the creation and development of Gabe. He just strolled right onto the page, with all his little quirks and mannerisms. I knew him inside and out and I loved writing him. I think it’s always easier when you’ve got such a complex and tormented hero. There’s just so much to get into and reveal!
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