In The LoungeValentines

‘Keep putting one foot in front of the other’
A Q&A with Deborah McKinlay

Deborah McKinlay is the author of That Part Was True, a deliciously warm, romantic novel for anyone who loved Sleepless In Seattle or One Day. Deborah dropped into One Book Lane for a chat about all things bookish.

Who is your favourite author?

Anyone I have just discovered (Alexander Masters. James Lees-Milne). There are lots of others (Carson McCullers, Hemingway, Hunter Thompson, Kerouac, Dylan Thomas, John Updike, F Scott Fitzgerald…) who I go back to again and again but, of people writing now, probably Richard Ford.

 What book do you most often recommend to friends?

Lately, Roz Chast’s brilliant memoir Can’t We Talk About Something More Pleasant? Funny, poignant, honest and true.

Do you have any writing rituals?

I do, but they tend to change with each book, so they are more Project Rituals than writing ones.  The novel I’m working on at the moment seems to require me to sit in a big, green chair with a large cup of coffee. More consistently, and generally, I find walking in the mornings extremely helpful for both well-being and wordsmithing.

If you weren’t a writer what job would you liked to have gone into?


What is the best thing about being a writer?

Freedom and solitude.

What one item could you not live without?


Tell us something that will shock your readers?

I don’t think readers shock so easy.

What makes you happy?

Freedom and solitude.  My son. Sea views, sunshine, food, family, friends, flowers. Pretty rooms. Beautiful clothes. Good design. Innovative thinking. Kindness. Efficiency. Art. Music. Cats. Reading. Writing. The great cities and the Mediterranean.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Keep putting one foot in front of the other.

The members of my dream book club would be . . .

Literate, kind, funny, wine drinkers.

That Part Was True is out in paperback on 15th January and is out now is eBook and audio. Listen to an audio extract.

That Part Was True is out in paperback on 15th January and is out now is eBook and audio.

Deborah McKinlay

Deborah McKinlay has published half a dozen non-fiction titles in the UK. Her first novel, THE VIEW FROM HERE, was published in 2011 and her books have been translated into numerous languages. Her work has appeared in British VOGUE, COSMOPOLITAN and ESQUIRE. She lives in south west England.