I’d like to introduce you to Claire Fuller, our author in the picture for May. Claire started writing when she was 40 and her first novel Our Endless Numbered Days won the prestigious Desmond Elliott Prize. Elena Lappin interviewed Claire for our own LoveReading Podcast episode 5 and her latest book Bitter Orange, out in paperback on 2 May, is an atmospheric, stormy beauty of a read (do also take a look at our May 2019 competitions as there is a special prize on offer). I love to see the photos that mean so much, and am particularly envious of the magical book replacer she has in her stunning library room - what beautiful shelving!
The book that made you first want to become an author.
I didn’t start writing until I was 40, and I read We Have Always Lived in the Castle, by Shirley Jackson at about that time. It’s still a favourite. I review most of the books I read on my Instagram account (@writerclairefuller), and since I do a lot of reading at breakfast, I have a bit of thing for #booksatbreakfast pictures, like this one.
Show us a booky photo that makes you beam with happiness.
This is a picture of my friends and family raising their glasses full of Aperol spritz, at the launch party for Bitter Orange last August. It was so hot I made everyone take off their shoes and stand barefoot on the stone floor.
Do you have a photo that sums up your love for the written word?
My husband is a university librarian and I’m a writer, and together we have a lot of books. He’s also a pretty good carpenter and has created a library in our dining room. When I finish reading a book, I leave it on the table and it magically gets filed in alphabetical order.
Your favourite writing spot.
It was only a year or so ago that I finally got a room of my own to write in with a proper full-sized desk, and a day-bed for those all-important naps! I did a bit of tidying up for this picture.
Which was your most memorable book event?
This is me cutting a cabin-shaped cake at the launch of my first novel, Our Endless Numbered Days. It was an amazing evening, not least because it seemed utterly unbelievable that a story I’d written sitting on my sofa was now published and in bookshops.
Which is your most beloved and well-read book?
My daughter made, drew and dictated this book when she was four or five. She even made the clay covers - lovely, although not very practical. Sorry, but this book is not available in all good bookshops.
Keep up to date with Claire Fuller