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A Waterstones Exclusive Q & A with The Other Mrs Walker Author Mary Paulson-Ellis

Described as doing ‘for Edinburgh what the great mistress of domestic macabre Ruth Rendell did for North London’ Mary Paulson-Ellis’s highly-praised debut The Other Mrs Walker is a twistingly entangled detective story with a difference. We sent Waterstones’ Angie Crawford in search of the mastermind behind the mystery to talk about clues to the lost and lonely, intricate plotting and Tunnocks Teacakes.

A Waterstones Exclusive Q & A with Samantha Shannon

It must be daunting to begin your career already being compared with J.K. Rowling and Philip Pullman. In fact, Samantha Shannon has been making waves since she first burst onto the scene with her debut novel The Bone Season, the first in a fantasy series about a woman at the centre of a syndicate of dissident clairvoyants ruled by ruthless Mime Lords. Since then the series has grown with the publication of The Mime Order and now the much-anticipated third novel, The Song Rising; establishing the series and Shannon as an important new voice in contemporary fiction. We caught up with the author to talk to her about world building, the challenges of fantasy love stories and creating novels that break down the barriers of genre fiction.

Q & A with Little Deaths author Emma Flint

Q & A with Little Deaths author Emma Flint

Posted on 9th Feb, 2017 by Sally Campbell & Martha Greengrass

The world of Emma Flint's debut Little Deaths is a stark, lonely, noirish place, brimming with guilt and suspicion. Based on the real life murder trial of Alice Crimmins for the deaths of her two young children, the story plays out during the unforgiving New York heatwave of 1965. At the centre of this searing, gripping mystery is Flint's haunting portrayal of the mother, fictionalised as Ruth Malone; it is her unconventional behaviour, heavy make-up and 'cheap perfume' that seal her fate as the police - and the media's - main suspect. As the Guardian notes, 'Flint pulls the reader into the finely observed working-class Queens neighbourhood, where... the social surveillance of women is palpable.'  

Waterstones Online's Martha Greengrass caught up with Flint to discuss her vivid portrait of a woman's trial-by-media and explore why true crimes such as this still resonate half a century later.

Q & A: Graeme Macrae Burnet

Q & A: Graeme Macrae Burnet

Posted on 25th Oct, 2016 by Sally Campbell

It’s not our place as booksellers to be partisan over awards: being independently-minded – at least until the award has had its moment – is part of the job.

The presence of Graeme Macrae Burnet on the Man Booker shortlist, however, has forced us to test this position. As one of our own – that is, an ex-Waterstones bookseller – Burnet has not just joined that grand alumnus of booksellers into print, but now finds himself on the very precipice of potentially bagging the biggest and most prestigious prize in literary fiction. By this evening, we will know and we can’t help but feel a certain sense of pride and anxiety.

Last week, Waterstones Online’s Martha Greengrass caught up with Burnet to discuss the construction of His Bloody Project, the novel under such scrutiny, and the place where research stops and narrative begins.

Q & A: Deborah Levy

Q & A: Deborah Levy

Posted on 26th Sep, 2016 by Sally Campbell

Deborah Levy is a British novelist, poet and playwright, whose explorations of complex female relationships have drawn comparisons with the work of Elena Ferrante. Levy is currently shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for her novel Hot Milk, the tale of a noxious mother-daughter relationship that teems with menace and wry humour, which we looked at earlier this year.

Waterstones Online's Sally Campbell caught up with Levy to discuss her approach to writing and the origins of this bold and vital novel.

Q & A: Paul Beatty

Q & A: Paul Beatty

Posted on 2nd Sep, 2016 by Sally Campbell

In the tradition of satirists as caustic as Swift and as hilarious as Vonnegut, Paul Beatty’s new novel The Sellout is, as the Financial Times puts it, a ‘howl-a-page assault on the pieties of race debates in America’. Already the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction and longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, this exuberant, irreverent and exceptionally funny book is set to be one of the most important titles of 2016. In the following interview, the first of our Man Booker Longlist coverage, Beatty shared a few thoughts with Waterstones Online’s Sally Campbell 

The Ones We Love The Most

The Ones We Love The Most

Posted on 20th Jul, 2016 by Sally Campbell

Adam Haslett is the author of the short story collection, You Are Not A Stranger Here, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and winner of the PEN/Winship Award. His new novel Imagine Me Gone explores a family's love, as well as the depression that resonates through the generations. Theo Tait writing for The Sunday Times described the novel as ‘intimate and panoramic’. He continued,‘there is an exhilaration in reading something so perceptive and well executed’. Waterstones Online’s Sally Campbell caught up with the author to discuss his writing routine, the term 'mental illness' and his exceptionally well-received new book.

Picture Perfect

Picture Perfect

Posted on 28th Jun, 2016 by Sally Campbell

The Muse, Jessie Burton’s first novel since her record-breaking 2014 debut The Miniaturist is published later this week. Ahead of its publication on the 30th June, Martha Greengrass caught up with the author and discussed the book’s genesis

Euro 2016: Football Q & As (Part Three)

To mark the beginning of Euro 2016 in France today, Waterstones have asked well-known football writers a set of Euro-themed questions. We finish with James Montague and Rory Smith introduced by Waterstones Deansgate's Matt Gardiner.

Euro 2016: Football Q & As (Part Two)

Euro 2016: Football Q & As (Part Two)

Posted on 9th Jun, 2016 by Sally Campbell

To mark the beginning of Euro 2016 in France this Friday, Waterstones have asked well-known football writers a set of Euro-themed questions. We continue the series with James Lawton and Ed Hawkins introduced by Waterstones Deansgate's Matt Gardiner.

Euro 2016: Football Q & As (Part One)

To mark the beginning of Euro 2016 in France this Friday, Waterstones have asked well-known football writers a set of Euro-themed questions. We begin with Anna Kessel, Peter Chapman and Oliver Kay introduced by Waterstones Deansgate's Matt Gardiner.

Baileys Women's Prize For Fiction: A Little Life

We continue our special coverage of The Baileys Women's Prize For Fiction shortlist with our Hanya Yanagihara interview; Yangiahara is the author of Man Booker-nominated A Little Life, a subversive and troubling take on trauma that has already sparked much debate.