Interview with Aoife Clifford, Author of All These Perfect Strangers
08 Jul 2016
What can you tell us about your new release, All These Perfect Strangers?
All These Perfect Strangers is about Pen Sheppard, a troubled eighteen year old, who seizes the chance to reinvent herself when she leaves her country town to study law at university. A series of murders on campus brings her under scrutiny and she discovers that you can never run far or fast enough away from your past.
What’s the most exciting thing about being a debut author?
I love getting to meet readers who love books as much as I do.
Do you listen to anything while you write? If so, what’s your audio of choice?
Normally I write to the sound of children rampaging around the house so I’m trained to work with noise and can cope with most background sounds that are not of my own choosing. I don’t tend to listen to music as I find that distracting.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I can’t remember this, but when my book came out an old school friend got in touch and claimed that they could remember that I told them I wanted to be an author. After quite a few diverse career swerves I’ve managed it!
What makes your world go round? Why does it bring you joy?
Family, books and chocolate, the order of which depends on the day! Having children is a constant source of joy, fascination, amusement with the occasional bout of frustration. The pram in the hallway is supposedly the enemy of writing but that has not been my experience. I started writing my novel surrounded by babies. By the time I had finished it the pram had magically turned into school bags.
What will your next adventure be?
Writing the next novel will be an adventure for my mind and for a physical adventure my family will be heading to New Zealand early next year, one of the most beautiful places in the world, for my sister’s wedding.
What scene in All These Perfect Strangers was your favorite to write?
The last chapter because I wanted it to achieve many things. I wanted the plot and sub-plot come crashing in to each other, for there to be a symmetry between the start and the end of the novel, to tell two big events of my main character’s life – the very beginning of one significant relationship and the end of another, and last but not least for it to be memorable. On those terms I was happy with it (and with the added bonus that I’d almost finished writing the book as well).
Do you have a motto, quote or philosophy you live by?
For writing it is the well worn phrase- there are no good writers only good rewriters. For the rest of my life- it is never too late.
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