Author interview: Sarah Hilary

Author Sarah Hilary, author of the Marnie Rome novels. Click through to read my interview with her. Tastes Like Fear (published today) is the third Marnie Rome novel by Sarah Hilary. Winner of the 2015 Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year with her first, Someone Else’s Skin, it’s been a busy year and Tastes Like Fear (my favourite crime novel so far this year) looks set to consolidate her success. Sarah blogs about crime fiction reading and writing and it’s a blog to add to your bookmarks but in the meantime I’m delighted that she found time to be interviewed by me..

Q: Why do you write?

Itchy fingers, voices in my head.

Q: Were you a childhood scribbler or was writing something you came to later in life?

A scribbler, always.

Q: How did you get your big break?

Bloodymindedness, and a brilliant agent.

Q: How do you begin a new project? Do you plan in detail or just start writing and see where the story takes you?

My rational mind resists planning. Luckily my unconscious mind is dark and twisted and knows exactly what it’s doing.

Q: What’s your writing routine? Bustling cafe or silent solitude? Crack of dawn or midnight oil? Laptop or pen and paper?

I distrust silence. I need white noise, my Macbook Air and lots of coffee.

Q: How polished is your first draft?

Nothing that can’t be fixed with a ruthless rewrite.

Q: What writer do you most admire and what would you like to ask them?

Helen Dunmore. She has an alchemist’s touch. I’d ask her to keep writing, because her books are miraculous.

Q: What book would you most like to have written?

The Collector by John Fowles.

Q: Aside from writing, what skill or achievement are you most proud of?

Resisting the urge to give up, or give in.

Q: What talent or ability do you wish you had?

I wish I was multi-lingual.

Q: What is true happiness for you?

Being near the sea, and knowing my loved ones are safe.

Q: What aspect of the publishing industry would you like to change?

If someone could fix funding for libraries that would be ideal. And I’d like scratch and sniff books to make a comeback.

Q: What piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Always believe that the next thing you write will be better.

Q: What are you working on at the moment?

Marnie Rome book 4.

Thank you so much for finding the time for this.

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