Nov­el­ist Sue Rains­ford on leav­ing her book in a drawer, her mu­si­cal in­spi­ra­tion, and a love of crim­i­nol­ogy

Irish Independent - Weekend Review - - BOOKS - KIM BIELENBERG

De­scribe your first novel, Fol­low Me to the Ground You worked on the novel for a few years. How did you get it pub­lished?

I wrote it years ago, left it in a drawer, and came back to it when I had the time. One night I gave a read­ing of a short story I wrote called ‘Fuch­sia’ about a woman liv­ing in a house, and she thinks there is some­thing liv­ing un­der the stairs. Some­one from New Is­land heard it and asked me if I had any other work, and I sent them the man­u­script of my novel.

You also work as an art writer. What does that in­volve? There’s a lot of talk about Dublin be­ing a dif­fi­cult place for artists at the mo­ment be­cause of the costs. Have you found that?

Yes, it is an in­hos­pitable place right now, but the com­mu­nity is still strong. In terms of liv­ing, it is im­pos­si­ble. Artists are grav­i­tat­ing to­wards Lis­bon.

What did you read grow­ing up and what do you en­joy now?

I used to read a lot of nov­els by men — writ­ers like Ernest Hem­ing­way, Dashiell Ham­mett, and Ray­mond Chan­dler. More re­cently I have liked Eimear McBride, Anna Kana Schofield and Bhanu Kapil.

What’s your work rou­tine?

I usu­ally work at home a solid eight hours a day, start­ing at nine. At times, it be­comes in­tol­er­a­ble just be­ing in your own com­pany so I go to cafés. Mu­sic sus­tains me when I start to slump. When I was writ­ing my novel, I played the song ‘When the Moon is High’ by Jack Luke­man over and over.

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be? Re­cently, I have day­dreamed about foren­sic crim­i­nol­ogy. Saga: book fo­cuses on four sib­lings who di­verge af­ter be­ing raised by their de­vout grand­mother

I col­lab­o­rate with artists. I would of­ten write scripts for video and sound in­stal­la­tions.

It’s a story about de­sire, the hid­den cost of in­ti­macy, the im­ages and be­hav­iours we as­cribe to fe­male bod­ies — and the vi­o­lence those bod­ies are met with when they break with ex­pec­ta­tions.

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