Skip to Content

‘Writing is such a private thing'

27 August 2018

‘Writing is such a private thing, especially with the research I was doing, it was quite solitary and nerdy. I mean, no one is that interested in what you found out about the 18th century today. So to go from that, to having loads of people (at the publishing houses) read it and be so enthusiastic about it - I just didn't know what to do at all...

She remembers ‘sitting at the dining room table in the house share I was in at the time, and doing the thing I did - sitting there with my laptop and writing - and realising that I was doing the exact same thing one year ago. Materially nothing had changed, I still have an unfinished novel, it's got 80,000 more words on it but still feels like the ending is as far away as it ever was...

She concluded that ‘I could pour myself into getting a career or a proper income or I could pour that same amount of myself into the book. I just knew I would be sadder if I didn't choose the book.'

Imogen Hermes Gowar, author of debut The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock, described by The Times as 'A cracking historical novel - with a twinge of the surreal - about passion and obsession' in the Bookseller.