Oh, I do so love a peek into the life of a favourite author! I was thrilled when Lucy Foley agreed to be our author in the picture for February. Lucy is the number one Sunday Times and Irish Times bestselling author of The Hunting Party, and on 20 February her novel The Guest List arrives in hardback. Lucy was previously a fiction editor in the publishing industry, and fortunately for those who love her work, she now writes full time. We at LoveReading have adored all of her books, her first three took a delightful and intriguing step into the past, The Book of Lost and Found was her debut, followed by The Invitation, and Last Letter from Istanbul. From here she moved into murder mystery, set very firmly in the here and now. The Hunting Party and her newest novel The Guest List both sit as standalone novels in our Star Books section on the site. Lucy’s chosen photos for us are rather gorgeous, her rocking donkey looks well-loved, and cat particularly comfy! As far as I’m concerned Lucy Foley is one of my favourite authors, I can recommend all of her novels, and can’t wait to see The Guest List fly!
The book that made you first want to become an author.
The Mary Poppins books by PL Travers. I was so caught up in their world as a child and I loved the characters and the enigmatic heroine... and I love the balance of light and dark in them — there’s so much more darkness than in the Julie Andrews adaptation, much as I enjoyed it.
Favourite reading or writing spot.
My local cafe, Brooks and Gao, in Streatham. I’d say a good proportion of at least three of my books has been written here — I love the buzz, people watching opportunities and constant supply of caffeine!
The bookshelf you return to again and again.
This one at my parents’ house, which has many favourite reads from my formative years. It was built by my Grandpa, so it has a special history to it too.
A booky photo that makes you really smile.
This one of my cat telling me he’d prefer I stop writing and come and feed him. This happens at least a couple of times a week!
A location that has inspired you.
The stunning Connemara coastline on the west coast of Ireland with its white sand beaches inspired the setting for The Guest List.
The photo that best sums up your author journey.
This photo with my brilliant agent and editor the day we discovered The Hunting Party had gone to number one in the Sunday Times bestsellers. It wouldn’t have happened without these two women or indeed the whole team at HarperCollins: every book published is really a huge team effort. We celebrated by going out for cocktails after this photo in the Harper offices!
Your most memorable book event.
Wilderness Festival was great fun — it made a change doing a talk in a tent! It was such a beautiful, hot day I was worried no-one would want to come (and that they’d probably be too tired from partying the night before). But we had a brilliant, engaged crowd full of writers, which made for a great discussion. Here I am outside the literary tent in my slightly mad festival outfit!
Your most beloved and well-read book.
A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. I love it as a memoir of a struggling young writer and as an evocation of a very particular time and place: Paris in the 1920s. It also paints wonderfully gossipy portraits of figures like Gertrude Stein and F Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. And Hemingway writes so deliciously about food and drink, which I always enjoy in a book and which I think is one of his less celebrated talents! This particular copy is very special — it was a gift from my husband and is a first edition from Shakespeare and Co in Paris. It’s one of my most prized possessions.
Your favourite reading or writing snacks and beverages.
Toast and coffee! Perfect writing fuel.