This week, our 'Five Questions with...' features Irish novelist Juliet Bressan, whose new novel Entanglement we're launching here in Chapters on Thursday 13th August. Entanglement is Juliet's second novel, following last year's Snow White Turtle Doves.
1. What are you working on at the moment?
I'm finishing up my third novel and I suppose you'd call it a romantic political thriller... It's the story of a Dublin A&E doctor who discovers that her boyfriend has murdered one of the patients... This book is taking me a bit longer than the others because I've had to do a lot of research. So I've been spending the summer reading forensic pathology books, talking to A&E nurses, visiting Mountjoy Jail, spending time with ex-prisoners, and talking to all those gangland criminals we hear about in the papers all the time! I've been learning loads and it's been fascinating. I'm also working on two non-fiction books which I'm co-authoring with other writers and I'm way behind so thanks for reminding me..
2. Who's the best new writer you've come across recently?
Conor Bowman is a brilliant, very funny,very talented Dublin-based writer who's just about to publish in America. Michelle Jackson is fantastic, and she's going to go very far. I've just read Amy Huberman's book and I think she's very talented and very funny. . . Oh, and I've just read a fantastic book by Kimberley Chambers called Billie Jo. They are tipping her as the new Martina Cole.
3. Do you have any peculiar rituals you do before you start writing?
You know, I'd love to say yes to this, and pretend I'm one of those writers who sits in a shed in the garden sharpening their pencils smoking Dunhills wearing a nightie and a pair of wellies or something, but I'm so undisciplined, to be honest I just grab whatever opportunity I get and whack away at the laptop. I like writing in bed best of all – which is a bit disgusting and slovenly but I do get lots of privacy there and to be frank, that's all I need, to be left alone. I love going to the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig and I've drafted two novels there and I'm dying to go back. It's a wonderful place to work and meet other artists and I've made some of my very best friends there.
4. Who's your favourite literary character?
What a great question! Can I have a list? Winnie The Pooh, Millie Mollie Mandy, Harriet The Spy, Heathcliff, Mrs Dalloway, Homer Wells, Ruth Cole and Eddie O'Hare ( I'm a huge John Irving fan).
5. If you could be anything else in the world, except a writer, what would it be?
To be honest, if I couldn't be a writer – say, because my brain was all scrambled or something – I'd rather be dead. That sounds awful, doesn't it? But I just know I'd be so unhappy if I couldn't write... oh, well, I think I'd quite like to be a rock musician. If I had the talent...
Juliet will be signing copies of her new novel Entanglement in Chapters this Thursday (13 August), from 6.30pm - 8.00pm.