Fanny Blake was a publisher for many years, acquiring and editing both fiction and non-fiction before becoming a freelance journalist and writer. She has written various non-fiction titles, acted as a ghostwriter for a number of celebrities and is also the editor of the book of Woman & Home. Most recently she has written six novels, among them House of Dreams and Our Summer Together.
- What was the last book you read? Sugar Money by Jane Harris. In 1765, two brothers travel from Martinique to Grenada to smuggle back the slaves who have been appropriated from their masters. It’s an extraordinary feat of imagination, atmospheric and with the pace of a thriller. I highly recommend it.
2. What did you read it on? I read a proof copy.
3. What’s next on your reading list? I’m dying to read the final volume of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels but my pile of work reading keeps getting in the way.
4. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer? There was no epiphanic moment. I spent the first half of my working life thinking that other people wrote and I edited. The idea of my writing crept up on me without my realising …
5. What would be the title of your autobiography? The Great Procrastinator
6. Which great novel have you tried to read but failed? Finnegan’s Wake by James Joyce. I don’t think I’ll be trying again.
7. What was your first job? Working in a market garden stapling together the calyxes of carnations before packing them into boxes. I didn’t last long. After that, I worked in a bookshop – much better.
8. What is the silliest thing you have on your desk? A small Mexican Day of the Dead skeleton woman with blonde bouffant hair and a glittery dress sitting at a desk with a computer on it. A friend gave it to me.
9. Tell us about a passion you have outside the business. I go to the theatre far more often than is good for my bank balance.
10. What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Show up at your desk every day and write something. Anything. You can always edit and improve it whereas you can’t a blank page.