Tim Lott Interview
Posted on 06 July 2007. © Copyright 2004-2024 WriteWords
WriteWords talks to novelist Tim Lott
Tell us all about your writing background- what you’ve written, what you’re currently writing
I’ve written six books in all. My first, in 1996, ‘The Scent of Dried Roses’ was a family memoir. My first adult novel, ‘White City Blue’ came out in 1999 and won the Whitbread First Novel prize. Since then I have written two other novels for adults. Fearless is my first novel for Young Adults. My next two books are likely to be non fiction.
I can’t really do anything else, although I do teach at the Arvon Foundation once or twice a year.
How did you start writing?
I started writing professionally as a journalist when I was 17 and as an author when I was 40. I write because it’s the only thing I am able to do competently.
Who are your favourite writers and why?
George Orwell, fairy tales, Greek Myths, american novelists like John Updike, Saul Bellow, Tom Wolfe and Joan Didion. All are wonderful storytellers, and write – for the most part – in plain, direct language.
How did you get your first agent/ commission?
I wrote a novel which everyone rejected, but one agent remembered a piece I had written in a magazine about the death of my mother. This became ‘The Scent of Dried Roses’
What's the worst thing about writing?
And the best?
The acclaim – if it ever arrives.
Tell us what kind of responses you get from audiences\ readers.
I had a terrific number of responses to my first book. Many people say that it changed their lives. I can’t think of a better compliment than that.
What was your breakthrough moment?
When ‘White City Blue’ won the Whitbread in 1999.
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