Sophie’s success grips readers worldwide

sundari sankar

PEOPLE, psychology and how humans behave towards one another are what most fascinates novelist and poet Sophie Hannah.

And her writings, which reflect these interests, have clearly captivated readers and television viewers across the world.

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With novels published in 20 countries, a string of shortlistings for major literary awards and several television adaptations lined up for this year, the 39 year-old is no novice writer, but she still has plenty of ideas to spill.

The mother-of-two is dropping in at Warwick library this month to speak about her brand new work of fiction, Lasting Damage. The Courier caught up with her ahead of her visit.

She said: “In a crime story, you are guaranteed to have a good, strong plot.

“If you read a crime novel, you know that things are going to happen and, all being well, you are going to be on the edge of your seat. Readers love a good story.

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“My books have been sold in 30 countries because my main interest is in people, psychology, feelings and how people behave towards each other. That’s not region specific.

“I write the books that I would most like to read.”

Having grown up with a passion for reading and writing and after studying English, American literature and Spanish at Manchester University, Sophie deliberately got what she descibes as “the easiest job I could find” as a library administrative assistant so she would have time to devote to writing. Then in 1997 her big break came as she secured a job as writer-in-residence at Trinity College in Cambridge, allowing her to embark on her career as an author.

As well as six novels, Sophie has published five collections of poetry, which are studied at GCSE, A-level and degree level across the UK.

She said: “All of my writing is personal. The poetry is more directly so, but the novels are stories, although they are about other people, usually have something quite personal in them.”

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Lasting Damage, about a woman obsessed with her search for the perfect home who stumbles across a dead body, is no exception.

Sophie said: “When I had the idea, I was in the process of looking for a house and spending a lot of time on property websites.

“Then the crime element came to me and the story grew. It’s pretty hard to write a book and get it to be as good as the idea is in your head, but I have always had the next idea when I have finished one book.”

Sophie will be hosted by staff from Warwick and Kenilworth Books shops at Warwick library on Wednesday February 23 at 7pm. The event is free, but tickets must be booked. Call 499939 or 855784.

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