In The Library

Happiness is ‘peace and quiet. English weather. Gin’
A Q&A with Harriet Lane

Harriet Lane is the author of Alys, Always and psychological thriller Her. We get to know her a bit more as she answers a few of our questions.

Who is your favourite author?

Daphne du Maurier, Rosamond Lehmann, Shirley Jackson

What book do you most often recommend to friends?

Currently: Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Baker

Do you have any writing rituals?


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

I was a journalist for a while. It suited me pretty well (but not as well as writing fiction)

What is the best thing about being a writer?

Solitude. Autonomy. My story, my rules

What one item could you not live without?


Tell us something that will shock your readers?

I wouldn’t be THAT bothered if a fox took our cat. The rest of the family would be devastated. But he’s only properly horrid to me

What makes you happy?

Peace and quiet. English weather. Gin

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

Write forward. Don’t edit/re-write as you go along. Save that until the end

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

Oh dear, I have no desire to join a book club. My taste in books is quite particular and I seldom persist with a book that isn’t working for me. Having said that I have excellent discussions about books with Amanda Coe and Susie Steiner, two good friends who also write novels, so I’ll nominate them.

Her is out now in paperback, audio download and eBook.  Start reading now

Harriet Lane

Before the publication of her debut novel Alys, Always, Harriet Lane wrote for the Guardian, the Observer, Vogue and Tatler. She lives in north London with her husband and two children.