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Lynne Truss - Author

About the Author

Lynne Truss is one of Britain’s top comic writers and is the author of the number one bestseller Eats, Shoots & Leaves. It has sold over three million copies worldwide and won the British Book of the Year award in 2004. She has also written four comic books, Going Loco, Making the Cat Laugh, Tennyson’s Gift and With One Lousy Free Packet of Seed, all available from Profile Books. She is also a regular presenter on Radio 4 and a guest presenter for many other programmes. She lives in Brighton.

Below is a Q & A with this author.

Do you have a favourite punctuation mark?

I do! When I was writing Eats, Shoots & Leaves, I remember saying that this was going to be a new experience for me, because usually (when I was writing plays or novels) I would fall in love with one of the characters. “No chance of that this time,” I said. But in fact I fell in love with the colon. I realised how manly it was. However, I think you have to be a very strange or special person to understand what I mean by that.  

 
What is the most embarrassing mistake you have ever made?

It’s not very good, I’m afraid. I was about 22, and at a party, talking to some parents about whether they should get some injections for their kids, and I said it was probably very important to have them intoxicated. I meant innoculated, you see. I felt like killing myself afterwards.

 

What is the worst mistake you have ever seen?

I don’t recall. I try to remember only the funny ones. The funniest one I know about is “RESIDENTS REFUSE TO GO IN THE BINS”.


Aside from errors in punctuation and bad manners, do you have any other pet hates?

I don’t actually hate punctuation errors: they make me sad. Meanwhile, the rudeness of the modern world (which was the subject of my last book, Talk to the Hand – it wasn’t just about manners) also makes me more suicidal than angry. However, since you ask, what I do really hate is cyclists on pavements. Or cyclists sailing across pdestrian crossings when the lights are against them. Or cyclists going the wrong way down a one-way street. I would like new laws passed so that citizens would be within their rights to push cyclists off their bikes, if discovered committing any of those outrages. 


What is the furthest you have ever gone to correct someone’s punctuation?

Sorry, I don’t go out of my way at all to correct punctuation. Occasionally, if I’m feeling very larky, I will correct a sign and then add my signature underneath – sort-of like the mark of Zorro. But I actually don’t go around correcting people in a serious way, because I know it hurts their feelings.


What are you reading at the moment?

Because I’m just starting to write my first stage play, I’ve been reading a lot of plays; also books about playwriting. Alan Ayckbourn’s The Crafty Art of Playwriting is full of good advice. I’ve just read Lionel Shriver’s Double Fault (a novel about tennis players), and a new American biography of Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. Last night, I started Julia Briggs’s book about Virginia Woolf, which looks great. Julia Briggs gave a talk about the book at the Charleston Literary Festival in May that was quite the most impressive talk I’ve ever been to.


What was your favourite childhood book?

I loved Pooh best, I think. But Lewis Carroll has had the most lasting effect on my imagination, and I often invoke the Alice books, assuming that everyone knows them off by heart, as I do. When I was about ten, I learned all the poems – “Jabberwocky”, “The Walrus and the Carpenter”, “You Are Old, Father William” – and recited them to my bored classmates. I do see Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as one of the most important books ever written. 

Featured books by Lynne Truss

Cat Out of Hell

Cat Out of Hell

Author: Lynne Truss Format: Hardback Release Date: 27/02/2014

By acclaimed storyteller Lynne Truss, author of the bestselling Eats, Shoots and Leaves, the mesmerising tale of a cat with nine lives, and a relationship as ancient as time itself and just as powerful. The scene: a cottage on the coast on a windy evening. Inside, a room with curtains drawn. Tea has just been made. A kettle still steams. Under a pool of yellow light, two figures face each other across a kitchen table. A man and a cat. The story about to be related is so unusual yet so terrifyingly plausible that it demands to be told in a single sitting. The man clears his throat, and leans forward, expectant. 'Shall we begin?' says the cat...

ebook of the month

Other books by Lynne Truss

Murder by Milk Bottle

Murder by Milk Bottle

Author: Lynne Truss Format: Hardback Release Date: 09/07/2020

The latest installment in Lynne Truss's quirky and charming prize-winning series set in 1950s Brighton sees her trio of police detectives investigating a case with a most curious murder weapon The August bank holiday is approaching and after two extremely high-profile murder cases, Constable Twitten is eagerly anticipating a quiet spell at work. But then they find the bodies - and the milk bottles. Three seemingly unconnected victims - a hard-working AA patrolman, a would-be Beauty Queen, a catty BBC radio personality - have all been killed with the same, highly unusual murder weapon. Constable Twitten, Sergeant Brunswick and Inspector Steine are initially baffled, the town is alarmed, and the local newspaper is delighted: after all, what sells papers better than a killer on the loose? Can our redoubtable trio solve the case and catch this most curious of killers before they strike again?

The Man That Got Away

The Man That Got Away

Author: Lynne Truss Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 09/07/2020

A Times Crime Novel of the Year In the second instalment of Lynne Truss's joyfully quirky crime series, our trio of detectives must investigate the murder of a hapless romantic; an aristocratic con man on the prowl; and a dodgy Brighton nightspot... It is summer in Brighton and the Brighton Belles are on hand to answer any holidaymaker's queries, no matter how big or small. The quickest way to the station, how many pebbles are on the beach and what exactly has happened to that young man lying in the deckchair with blood dripping from him? Constable Twitten has a hunch that the fiendish murder may be connected to a notorious Brighton nightspot and the family that run it, but Inspector Steine is - as ever - distracted by other issues, not least having his own waxwork model made and an unexpected arrival, while Sergeant Brunswick is just delighted to have spied an opportunity to finally be allowed to go undercover... Our incomparable team of detectives are back for another outing in the new instalment of Lynne Truss's joyfully quirky crime series. Murder by Milk Bottle, the third in the Constable Twitten series, publishes in July 2020 and is available for pre-order now.

The Man That Got Away

The Man That Got Away

Author: Lynne Truss Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/07/2019

A Times Crime Novel of the Year In the second instalment of Lynne Truss's joyfully quirky crime series, our trio of detectives must investigate the murder of a hapless romantic; an aristocratic con man on the prowl; and a dodgy Brighton nightspot... It is summer in Brighton and the Brighton Belles are on hand to answer any holidaymaker's queries, no matter how big or small. The quickest way to the station, how many pebbles are on the beach and what exactly has happened to that young man lying in the deckchair with blood dripping from him? Constable Twitten has a hunch that the fiendish murder may be connected to a notorious Brighton nightspot and the family that run it, but Inspector Steine is - as ever - distracted by other issues, not least having his own waxwork model made and an unexpected arrival, while Sergeant Brunswick is just delighted to have spied an opportunity to finally be allowed to go undercover... Our incomparable team of detectives are back for another outing in the new instalment of Lynne Truss's joyfully quirky crime series.

The Man That Got Away

The Man That Got Away

Author: Lynne Truss Format: Hardback Release Date: 11/07/2019

A Times Crime Novel of the Year In the second instalment of Lynne Truss's joyfully quirky crime series, our trio of detectives must investigate the murder of a hapless romantic; an aristocratic con man on the prowl; and a dodgy Brighton nightspot... It is summer in Brighton and the Brighton Belles are on hand to answer any holidaymaker's queries, no matter how big or small. The quickest way to the station, how many pebbles are on the beach and what exactly has happened to that young man lying in the deckchair with blood dripping from him? Constable Twitten has a hunch that the fiendish murder may be connected to a notorious Brighton nightspot and the family that run it, but Inspector Steine is - as ever - distracted by other issues, not least having his own waxwork model made and an unexpected arrival, while Sergeant Brunswick is just delighted to have spied an opportunity to finally be allowed to go undercover... Our incomparable team of detectives are back for another outing in the new instalment of Lynne Truss's joyfully quirky crime series.

The Man That Got Away

The Man That Got Away

Author: Lynne Truss Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 11/07/2019

A Shot in the Dark

A Shot in the Dark

Author: Lynne Truss Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 11/07/2019

WINNER OF THE CRIMEFEST LAST LAUGH AWARD 2019 The charming first novel in a new comic crime series, from one of Britain's most-loved writers, the incomparable Lynne Truss 'More Marx Brothers than Agatha Christie, this is crime fiction turned on its head - a giddy spell of sheer delight' Daily Mail Brighton, 1957. Inspector Steine rather enjoys his life as a policeman by the sea. No criminals, no crime, no stress. So it's really rather annoying when an ambitious - not to mention irritating - new constable shows up to work and starts investigating a series of burglaries. And it's even more annoying when, after Constable Twitten is despatched to the theatre for the night, he sits next to a vicious theatre critic who is promptly shot dead part way through the opening night of a new play. It seems Brighton may be in need of a police force after all...

A Shot in the Dark

A Shot in the Dark

Author: Lynne Truss Format: Hardback Release Date: 28/06/2018

The charming first novel in a new comic crime series, from one of Britain's most-loved writers, the incomparable Lynne Truss 'More Marx Brothers than Agatha Christie, this is crime fiction turned on its head - a giddy spell of sheer delight' Daily Mail Brighton, 1957. Inspector Steine rather enjoys his life as a policeman by the sea. No criminals, no crime, no stress. So it's really rather annoying when an ambitious - not to mention irritating - new constable shows up to work and starts investigating a series of burglaries. And it's even more annoying when, after Constable Twitten is despatched to the theatre for the night, he sits next to a vicious theatre critic who is promptly shot dead part way through the opening night of a new play. It seems Brighton may be in need of a police force after all...

A Shot in the Dark

A Shot in the Dark

Author: Lynne Truss Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 28/06/2018

The charming first novel in a new comic crime series, from one of Britain's most-loved writers, the incomparable Lynne Truss 'More Marx Brothers than Agatha Christie, this is crime fiction turned on its head - a giddy spell of sheer delight' Daily Mail Brighton, 1957. Inspector Steine rather enjoys his life as a policeman by the sea. No criminals, no crime, no stress. So it's really rather annoying when an ambitious - not to mention irritating - new constable shows up to work and starts investigating a series of burglaries. And it's even more annoying when, after Constable Twitten is despatched to the theatre for the night, he sits next to a vicious theatre critic who is promptly shot dead part way through the opening night of a new play. It seems Brighton may be in need of a police force after all...

The Lunar Cats

The Lunar Cats

Author: Lynne Truss Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 16/11/2017

By the bestselling author of Eats, Shoots & Leaves and Cat Out of Hell, a nail-biting tale of good versus evil involving one man, his dog and a group of 18th-century amateur scientific pioneers who just happen to be cats. When you are an inoffensive retired librarian with bitter personal experience of Evil Talking Cats, do you rescue a kitten from the cold on a December night? Do you follow up news items about cats digging in graveyards? Do you inquire into long-ago cats who voyaged around the world with Captain Cook? Well, yes. If you are Alec Charlesworth that is precisely what you do - with unexpected and terrifying consequences ...

Cat out of Hell

Cat out of Hell

Author: Lynne Truss Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 01/10/2014

By acclaimed storyteller Lynne Truss, author of the bestselling Eats, Shoots and Leaves, the mesmerising tale of a cat with nine lives, and a relationship as ancient as time itself and just as powerful. The scene: a cottage on the coast on a windy evening. Inside, a room with curtains drawn. Tea has just been made. A kettle still steams. Under a pool of yellow light, two figures face each other across a kitchen table. A man and a cat. The story about to be related is so unusual yet so terrifyingly plausible that it demands to be told in a single sitting. The man clears his throat, and leans forward, expectant. 'Shall we begin?' says the cat ...

Tennyson and his Circle

Tennyson and his Circle

Author: Lynne Truss Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 24/03/2014

Tennyson and His Circle by Lynne Truss. Tennyson's ascendency as England's foremost poet coincided with one of the most significant inventions of the nineteenth century: photography. As Poet Laureate, Tennyson and those who moved in his circle became targets for the photographer's lens. The resulting portraits by such pioneering spirits as Julia Margaret Cameron, offer a fascinating insight into an age when England felt itself to be the envy of the world. Lynne Truss's insightful and often amusing text captures the spirit of the age through images of the famous, and provides a glimpse into the lives of a group of people crossing the threshold into the modern world.

Tennyson's Gift

Tennyson's Gift

Author: Lynne Truss Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/05/2010

From the bestselling author of `Eats Shoots & Leaves', an unexpectedly moving, luminously wise and brilliantly funny novel about a Victorian Poet Laureate. In July 1864, a corner of the Isle of Wight is buzzing with literary and artistic creativity. A morose Tennyson is reciting 'Maud' to empty sofas; the photographer Julia Margaret Cameron is white-washing the roses for visual effect and the mismatched couple, actress Ellen Terry and painter G. F. Watts, are thrown into the company of the remarkable Lorenzo Fowler, the American phrenologist, and his daughter Jessie. Enter mathematician Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll), known to Jessie as the 'fiendish pedagogue', and Lynne Truss's wonderfully imaginative cocktail of Victorian seriousness and riotous farce begins to take flight.

Get Her Off the Pitch!

Get Her Off the Pitch!

Author: Lynne Truss Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/05/2010

From the bestselling author of `Eats, Shoots & Leaves', this is the hilarious new book from Lynne Truss about her strange journey through the world of sport and sports journalism. `Years ago, Boris Becker famously said, after losing at Wimbledon, Nobody died. I just lost a tennis match. And while some people applauded him for his healthy sense of proportion, it didn't ring remotely true. While I was writing about sport, I was caught on the horns of this dilemma for the whole bloody time. I was like the poor confused jurors in `Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' who sit in their jury box, writing emphatically on their little slates, both important and not important because they honestly don't have a clue.' In this magnificent book, Lynne Truss charts her often bizarre wanderings during her time as a sports journalist for the `Sunday Times'. From covering a heavyweight world title fight at Madison Square Garden, to watching England beat Holland from an airship above Wembley (while eating chocolate cake); from her extravagant feelings about Andre Agassi, to covering sports like cricket (where, initially, she didn't have any idea what was going on), Lynne Truss manages to crystallize exactly the essence of what sport is about, and bring her characteristic wisdom and wry humour to it. The book will be a revelation to sport's foolish doubters, and a treat for the many of us who spend too much of our time watching it.

With One Lousy Free Packet of Seed

With One Lousy Free Packet of Seed

Author: Lynne Truss Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/05/2010

Lynne Truss's first novel, in which she shows herself to be one of the very best comic writers. 'It was nobody's fault, this widely held assumption that Come Into the Garden had long since sought eternal peace in the great magazine rack in the sky. Nevertheless, it required strength of character for those intimately acquainted with the title not to take the comments personally. After all, it was a bit like being dead but not lying down'. Osborne Lonsdale, a down-at-heel journalist, mysteriously attractive to women, writes a regular celebrity interview for 'Come Into the Garden'. This week his 'Me and My Shed' column will be based on the charming garden outhouse owned by TV sitcom star Angela Farmer. Unbeknown to Osborne, driving down to Devon to interview Angela in her country retreat, the sleepy magazine has been taken over by new management. So it happens that Osborne's research trip is interrupted by a trainload of anxious hacks from London - Lillian the fluffy blonde secretary, Michelle the sub-editor who has a secret crush on Osborne, and Trent Carmichael, crime novelist and bestselling author of S is for... Secateurs!

Going Loco

Going Loco

Author: Lynne Truss Format: Paperback / softback Release Date: 27/05/2010

A wonderful comic novel from the bestselling author of `Eats Shoots & Leaves'. Belinda Johansson is a woman frantic, overwhelmed by the demands of work and home. Having it all? Pah. Belinda doesn't want any of it. Deep in research for her magnum opus - a definitive account of the doppelganger in classic gothic fiction - she fails to notice the echoes of these ghoulish tales disturbingly close at hand. For not only is the cleaning lady taking over her life, but the identity of her husband, Stefan, is also in question. Is he a harmless geneticist from Sweden, or actually a cunning clone? Why is the cleaning lady's previous employer having a breakdown, and what on earth has the rat circus got to do with any of this?

Inspector Steine

Inspector Steine

Author: Lynne Truss Format: eBook Release Date: 01/03/2010

The first series of Lynne Truss's hugely popular BBC Radio 4 comedy thriller set in 1950s Brighton. Brighton in the 1950s: a place of knickerbocker glories, end-of-the pier shows... and an enormous amount of unsolved crime. Step forward Inspector Steine. Naive and innocent, he believes that he wiped out all the villains at a single stroke in the Middle Street Massacre when seventeen local hoodlums gunned each other to death. Fortunately, long-suffering Sergeant Brunswick is at hand to help Steine with his enquiries. Aided by keen Constable Twitten, they must find the criminal mastermind who is operating undetected in their midst. In these six episodes, a headless corpse is found on the Palace Pier ghost train; a foppish London theatre critic is found dead after a performance of a kitchen-sink drama; and the Inspector decides to go undercover at the Black Cat Casino - while a robbery takes place in the bank next door to the police station. In addition, Ventriloquist Vince receives threats after moving his booth to a new pitch; Steine falls in love with Adelaide Vine, the beautiful owner of a fish and chip shop; and ponders how to celebrate the five-year anniversary of the Middle Street Massacre, unaware that a deranged criminal has escaped from Broadmoor with revenge on his lips... Starring Michael Fenton Stevens as Steine and Jan Ravens as Mrs Groynes, this perfectly-judged blend of humour, nostalgia and mystery from bestselling author Lynne Truss makes for an irresistible listen. 'Delicious fun' - Sunday Times Culture Magazine

Author Info

Author's Website

https://www.lynnetruss.com/

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