Internationally bestselling author and Co-Founder and Chair of the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction, Kate Mosse dropped in for a chat to celebrate the 10th Anniversary edition of her first bestselling novel, Labyrinth.
Remember reading Labyrinth for the first time? We’d love to hear all about it, tweet @onebooklane including #Labyrinth10.
Who is your favourite author?
Couldn’t possibly list only one, but any list would include Brontes C and E, T S Eliot, Zora Neale Hurston, Sarah Walters, Agatha Christie, H Rider Haggard, Adrienne Rich, Toni Morrison, Ian Rankin, Edith Wharton, Alan Bennett, Adhaf Souief, Fred Vargas
What book do you most often recommend to friends?
Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte’s only novel. I’ve read it each decade of my life and find something new to admire each time – it’s a story of revenge, of light and dark, of race and class, of obsession, of the power of the natural world. Astonishing achievement – and the final few paragraphs never fail to move me to tears ….
Do you have any writing rituals?
Not rituals, but I start very (very!) early each morning with a strong, sweet mug of black coffee … and usually (though not always) write in pyjamas and slippers. Not glam, but warm ….
If you weren’t a writer what job would you liked to have gone into?
I have no talent – two left feet – but I’ve always fancied being a tap dancer ….
What is the best thing about being a writer?
You live in an imaginary world, with imaginary friends, yet can call it work!
What one item could you not live without?
It’s people, not things, really that make the difference ….
Tell us something that will shock your readers?
I have never finished Midnight’s Children ….. (I’ve tried and tried and tried)
What makes you happy?
My husband and children, memories of my beloved (much missed) parents, mother-in-law, sisters, friends. After the stuff that matters, the contentment of everyday life – reading, the first coffee of the day (see above!), walking on the Sussex Downs, ambling through the medieval streets of Carcassonne, a chilled glass of rosé as the sun goes down in summer, cherry blossom and bluebells, the copper beach tree in Autumn, being in a theatre as the house lights go down, writing (when it goes well and fast ….), knowing those I love are happy.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
It’s better to give than to receive.
The members of my dream book club would be . . .
Assuming we’re talking impossible or unlikely …. so, a mixture of past and present, as well as great actors and playwrights, what about Melisande (12th century Queen of Jerusalem), Charlotte Bronte, Mary Shelley, Raymond-Roger Trencavel (13th century Viscount of Carcassonne), Adrienne Rich, Marie Curie, Cristabel Pankhurst, Lawrence Olivier, Emily Dickinson, Angela Davis – those women and men who leave their mark as they pass through.