26-11-2016

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Who are you most looking forward to seeing at the 2017 Festival?

Abi Elphinstone – I love her books for young readers – her writing is beautiful, free and limitless. She’s so passionate about children’s reading, and full of the spirit of adventure – a pretty inspiring person altogether really.

Which book has inspired you the most?

I Capture the Castle is one of my favourite books. The narrative voice Dodie Smith creates for Cassandra Mortmain is particularly inspiring – it is written with such a lightness of touch – so playful and utterly convincing. The central character in my next book is partly inspired by Cassandra…

What is the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Have a cup of Earl Grey tea. Then I have another one.

What is your life’s motto?

‘Fluctuat nec mergitur.’ It’s also the motto my heroine Henry becomes very much attached to in The Secret of Nightingale Wood: ‘She is tossed by the waves but she does not sink…’

Our theme for the 2017 Festival is Journeys. Can you tell us which journeys in your life have been most memorable?

I lived in Dubai from 2010 to 2015: this is the place in which my writing career began…