Cheltenham Q & A - Ella Berthoud

Posted on 6th October 2015 by Ella Berthoud
Waterstones exclusive: Ella Berthoud answers our seven questions.
We here at Waterstones put our heads together and came up with seven snappy author questions and put them to the authors appearing at Cheltenham Literature Festival (which runs from the 2nd - 11th October). The result? Read for yourself.

Eighth in the series: Ella Berthoud

Ella is an artist, bibliotherapist and co-author of A Novel Cure. She is appearing at Cheltenham Literature Festival alongside fellow bibliotherapist and co-author, Susan Elderkin, on Thursday 8 October (4pm – 5:30pm) in An A-Z of Literary Remedies in which they dispense literary prescriptions to revive spirits over refreshments.


What book do you wish that you had written?

A novel 

Just as your books inspire readers, what authors inspired you to write?

Gerald Durrell, Dodie Smith, Daphne du Maurier, Sylvia Plath, Tom Robbins....and many many more! 

Once you've had the initial idea for a book, do you create the plot first or do you begin writing straight away, looking to discover the story and characters along the way?

Sadly I haven't written a plot driven book yet... 

Do you read your reviews? How do you respond to them, good or bad? Any advice on how to deal with the bad?

Yes I do, and I really want to engage with the writers of them, but resist. My advice would be, pretend it's not you they are writing about, and even better, just don't read the reviews! 

If you were trapped on a desert island, which two books would you want to have with you and why?

Life A User's Manual by Georges Perec and If on a Winter's Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino, because they would both keep me entertained and thoughtful for several lifetimes 

Who else do you wish to see while at the Cheltenham festival?

Patrick Gale, Damian Barr, Louisa Young, SJ Watson 

What was the last book you read?

The Lie Tree by Francis Hardinge


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