Stratford Literary Festival: Sophie Hannah

10:44 15 April 2011

Stratford Literary Festival: Sophie Hannah

Stratford Literary Festival: Sophie Hannah

There's more to Stratford than Shakespeare. As the town prepares for its annual literary festival we meet crime author Sophie Hannah who tells us about her novel The Other Half Lives.

Theres more to Stratford than Shakespeare. As the town prepares for its annual literary festival we meet crime author Sophie Hannah who tells us about her novel The Other Half Lives, which was shortlisted for the 2010 Independent Booksellers Book of the Year Award. Sophie is hosting a crime and curry supper at the festival an event supported by Warwickshire Life.

Tell me about your crime and curry supper at the festival?

A crime and curry supper is basically just a regular literary supper, but with curry. I think a crime and curry night sounds more fun and relaxing than literary supper, which sounds a bit stiff and formal. I love festivals and all social occasions. I am a real extrovert, and I love to meet my readers at my book events.

When did you first begin writing?

I have always written, since childhood. It was my main hobby; what I did when I was supposed to be doing schoolwork, then college work, then university work, then secretarial work.

Why did you turn to writing crime?

I have always been a crime and mystery fiction addict. I became hooked first on Enid Blyton, then Agatha Christie, then Ruth Rendell, and I still read more crime fiction than anything else. So I wanted to write the kind of books I knew I'd love to read.

Who do you read now?

I love Ruth Rendell, Nicci French, Tana French, Douglas Kennedy, Robert Goddard, Val McDermid. They are all brilliant storytellers who care about the story above all else.

Which is your favourite book that you have written?

Lasting Damage, the latest one, is my favourite at the moment. It's about a woman who sees a dead body lying face down in a pool of blood on a virtual tour of a house, on a property website. When she calls her husband to look, the body has disappeared from the tour and no one believes her. I had the idea because I'm obsessed with property websites and spend a lot of time looking at the floor plans of houses I'm never going to buy.

Where does your inspiration come from?

I usually write about my current obsession, whatever it might be. The emotions in the book are usually things I've felt and experienced, though all murders in my novels are of course fictional!

What is your advice to wannabe authors?

Don't be too much of a perfectionist when you're writing your first draft. It's much easier to write a flawed book and perfect it later than it is to write a perfect book first time round.

The Stratford Literary Festival runs from 25th April to 2nd May, with Sophies crime and curry evening taking place on the 29th April. Other well known faces appearing at the festival include author Katie Fforde, Radio 2 DJ Mark Radcliffe, actor Larry Lamb (EastEnders and Gavin and Stacey) and journalist John Humphrys.

Tel: 01789 207100


More from People

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Candia McKormack experiences the extreme highs and lows of an astonishing comedy with a dark – but warm – heart at Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre

Read more
Monday, September 26, 2016

Reece Shearsmith and Ken Stott are starring in The Dresser at Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre, from Sept 27 to Oct 1, 2016

Read more
Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Gloucestershire’s Charlotte Dujardin retains her Olympic title, whilst posting a new Olympic record with her dancing partner Valegro at Rio 2016

Read more
Thursday, June 23, 2016

A tough childhood; family tragedy; and four years in the wilderness. But for Stroud-based singer-songwriter James Morrison, falling is the way you learn how to fly, he tells Katie Jarvis, ahead of his appearance at Cornbury Music Festival.

Read more
Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Oak and Furrows rescue centre appeals for aid as a large number of sick and injured wildlife arrive for urgent care

Read more
Wednesday, May 25, 2016

HRH The Prince of Wales, patron of Music in Country Churches, attended a concert at Malmesbury Abbey, Wiltshire, on Saturday, May 21, 2016. The concert was performed by the English Chamber Orchestra and featured British cellist, Caroline Dale.

Read more
Monday, March 7, 2016

There’s a new contender for the quirky Cotswold crown...

Read more
Wednesday, March 2, 2016


Read more
Friday, February 26, 2016

Cotswold gardeners will be well represented at this year’s Chelsea. Mandy Bradshaw has been talking to them about their plans

Read more
Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Jeremy Wilding, chairman of the Trustees of the Three Choirs Festival Society, has been appointed MBE for services to the Hereford Three Choirs Festival in the New Year’s Honours list for 2016

Read more
Wednesday, November 4, 2015

An infatuation with the letter Q and a deep-seated love of pottery led Katrina Ives to launch Qtique – a range of beautifully crafted English pottery mugs with a fun-loving edge, designed right here in the Cotswolds. We caught up with her to find out more about the lovable kawaii-inspired ‘Muggsies’ and running a successful homeware business

Read more

subscription ad

Topics of Interest

A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad
subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Warwickshire's trusted business finder

Job search in your local area

Search For a Car In Your Area

Property Search