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Emma Donoghue

Author of:

Author Interview with Emma Donoghue, Author of "Room"
Created By: BookBundlz

About You:

1. If you could have coffee with any 3 authors, living or dead, who would they be?

It would be a rather peculiar encounter, with Charles Dickens telling funny stories and getting crumbs in his beard, Emily Dickinson moping over her espresso, and Neal Stephenson explaining calculus by means of a diagram on his napkin.

2. If you could only take one book, food item and drink with you to a deserted island what would they be?  

Chocolate, coffee and the complete plays of William Shakespeare.

3. What are your secret indulgences?

Gray's Anatomy, Boston Legal and 24.

4. What about you would surprise your readers?

Perhaps my complete lack of observation skills. I couldn't tell you the colour of the walls, floor or bedspread in this hotel where I've been staying for the last two days.

5. What is your perfect day as an author?

Wake up to a fervent email from someone in a country I can't place on a map who never heard of me before but now can't get my novel out of their head... Hard work at the laptop writing several scenes of the next novel, the hours flying by... Then in the evening, giving a reading to a crowd who laugh a lot.

6. If you could be any fictional character who would it be?

Eliza in Neal Stephenson's THE BAROQUE TRILOGY.

7. What are the book(s) you are reading now?

I'm enthralled by Peter Carey's TRUE HISTORY OF THE KELLY GANG and Chris Cleave's LITTLE BEE.

8. What was your favorite book as a teenager, and why?

A strange love story called RED SHIFT by British author Alan Garner - it's set in the same place in Roman times, Civil War (17th century) and today.  I was rather obsessed with this book. Without any time-travel tricks it makes you feel that, as William Faulkner said, the past is not dead; it's not even past.

9. (Aside from your own) What book(s) have you read that you think are perfect for book clubs?

Kathryn Stockett's THE HELP, Lionel Shriver's WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN.

About Your Book:

10. Where did the inspiration for your book come from?

It was the horrendous Fritzl case in Austria that triggered ROOM but really it came out of my experience of parenting; my kids were 4 and 1 when I got the idea for a five-year-old's story of growing up in a locked room, and I put into everything I know about children.

11. They say every book written is the author telling a personal philosophy. What personal philosophy are you trying to get across?

If I could encapsulate it in a sentence, I wouldn't need to go to the trouble of writing a whole novel!

12. Writers are often surprised by something that happens in their book. Perhaps a character says or does something you did not think they would, or something you thought would only be a couple of paragraphs turns into 10 pages. What surprised you about your book?

I hadn't particularly intended to make it either a meditation on the real and the unreal, or a satire on the media and our high-speed society, but both those elements seemed to arise naturally from the perspective of the five-year-old Jack.

13. If you were crafting a discussion question for book clubs to discuss about your book, what question do you think would generate the most discussion? 

I'd throw the cat among the pigeons by asking, is parenthood a gift or a burden?

About Your Writing Process:

14. What is your writing process like? 

Plan, plan, plan.  I'm an architect first, and then a carpenter.

15. What gets you in the mood to write?

Dropping off my kids at school and daycare.

16. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Write more, fret less.

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