Author of the Day
MK: I’m loving it! Truly loving it. For a long time when I was
“MITH” I could barely leave the house and I was fully convinced
I’d never be able to do a public appearance ever again. Which
made me very sad, because it was (and still is) the part of being
a writer I love the most; it’s a huge honour to meet the people
who’ve gone to the trouble of reading my books. Also the
events I do tend to be great fun–very chatty, very intimate, very
personal–and I get a huge amount of pleasure from them. ■
Nicholas Clee caught up
with Marian Keyes in the
run up to the Fair.
NC: You haven’t been to a
book fair before. What are
you hoping to find?
MK: Books! (One of the
loves of my life.)
NC: Some authors can be
dismayed by fairs, because of
the contrast between the
solitary business of writing
and the huge industry that sustains it. Will this disconcert you?
MK: Not at all. I’ve been writing for a long time and I’m well
aware (and grateful) that publishing is a huge industry.
NC: Your last two novels, The Mystery of Mercy Close and
The Woman Who Stole My Life, have drawn on painful
experiences in your life. Was writing the novels therapeutic?
(I’m interested because I was asked it about a non-fiction
book I wrote, and found it a hard question to answer.)
MK: I wrote The Mystery of Mercy Close when I was
“MITH” (Mad In The Head with depression) and actually it’s
the only one of my novels that was therapeutic. My experience
of depression was so unlike what I’d expected that it gave
me great relief to give my awful distorted thoughts to my
character Helen Walsh. Also I used the novel to try to explain
how I was feeling to the people who loved me, who wanted to
help me. And I hoped that it might help other people who were
going through that hell and thought they were entirely alone.
NC: They’re some way from chick lit. Has being branded
the queen of chick lit been a help or a hindrance?
photo: Dean Checkley
MK: Being categorised as chick lit means some people will
never touch me but, on a personal level, I don’t mind. (I mind
on behalf of women in general, but that’s a different story.)
NC: Are you working on a novel at the moment?
MK: Yes. Called “Time Off For Bad Behaviour”, about a
marriage having a mid-life crisis.
NC: Many of the essays in Making It Up as I Go Along
suggest a person with a sunny attitude to life. Do you find
that people are surprised that the person capable of writing
with such self-aware humour can also be prey to depression?
MK: I suppose that’s the thing about depression, there’s a
lot of misinformation about it. Yes, I feel the pain of life
acutely, but a lot of the time I’m cheery.
NC: How do you find making public appearances at
Go to http://sibf.com