On my bookshelf
My favourite childhood read
was the Nightworld series by LJ Smith. I have her initials tattooed on my wrist. It’s basically a series of supernatural love stories – she wrote The Vampire Diaries as well. I loved them.
The book that changed my life:
Eric by Terry Pratchett. It was the first Pratchett novel I ever read and it made me feel like I was part of a secret geeky club. I was never without a book after that.
My favourite fictional character is
Hercule Poirot. I love the way he works things out. He’s so awkward and stubbornly foreign and unpleasant, and I love that he owns that, and manages to ferret out the truth. I love Agatha Christie detective novels – and Sophie Hannah’s reimaginings are great as well.
I wish I could write like…
Karen Russell. She writes short stories and urban fantasy… she wrote a book called Swamplandia. She takes ordinary scenes and completely transforms them.
The last great book I read was
The Wren Hunt by Mary Watson. She’s a South African writer who moved to Ireland. She was quiet for a while, then boom, she gets a book deal with Bloomsbury and it’s this fantastic, wildly imaginative young adult novel full of Irish myths and legends. It’s so beautiful.
The book I push on everyone is The Girls,
by Emma Cline. It’s a reimagining of Charles Manson’s family’s story, from the perspective of the women. It’s the most incredibly visual writing. She does things with words I wish I could do.