Author Chat with Emma Donoghue (author of ROOM)
Posted by Sheila (Book Journey)
Just yesterday I finished reading the newly released book by author Emma Donoghue, ROOM. Now today I am delighted to have her here at Book Journey to share with us a bit about herself and the book that’s being talked about everywhere. Please give a super warm welcome to Emma Donoghue.
Welcome Emma! I am so delighted to have you here today. First off, it is a tradition that I ask you how you take your coffee?
Emma: Caffe latte only. Which means that when staying in luxury hotels, as I am on this US book tour, I have a lot of trouble getting hold of my morning brew, because a latte is the one thing most hotels can’t provide!
You are right Emma, being a plain black coffee drinker,I hadn’t thought about that! When did you first find your love for books?
Emma: A male babysitter (a ‘spoiled priest’, meaning one who dropped out of the seminary) read me the entire CHRONICLES OF NARNIA when I was about four. Bless him for ever!
Oh, I love that! What a great memory! What would you consider to be a favorite book you have read and why?
Emma: Recently… SKIPPY DIES by Paul Murray, the other Irish writer on the Man Booker Prize long list. I’ve no idea why it didn’t make it onto the shortlist because it’s the most dazzling study of an Irish boys’ boarding school with some of the funniest dialogue I’ve ever read.
ROOM is such a powerful read. Where did you get the idea to write such a book?
Emma: From being a mother, really. Because when I heard about the Fritzl case in Austria, the idea for ROOM sprang fully formed into my mind: a child’s story of growing up in a single room and mistaking it for the whole world.
I remember that story Emma, it was horrifying. Was there any part of this book that was harder to write then the rest?
Emma: I had to sweat over the middle section (I’m trying to avoid spoilers here!) to make it plausible in every detail, and to capture the sensory shock of it for Jack.
What would you hope that your readers experience when they read ROOM?
Emma: Utter involvement, not just in Jack’s consciousness but in that of Ma – and to achieve that they have to do all the work of figuring out what Jack doesn’t know yet.
Emma you have written several novels. I have only had the pleasure of reading ROOM so far, what would you suggest I read next of yours?
Emma: Well, they’re all very different, but my 2008 novel THE SEALED LETTER is quite a page-turning courtroom drama about a notorious Victorian divorce.
Thank you Emma, I will take you up on that, it sounds good! Where do you enjoy doing your writing and do you have any sort of rituals that go with it?
Emma: No, I just flip open my cracked-screen laptop wherever I happen to be and go to it. My only ritual is, get the kids off to school and daycare first!
Is there a fictitious character that you would like to be friends with and why?
Emma: I’d love to meet Emma Woodhouse, heroine of Austen’s novel, partly because I was named after her but mostly because she’d be a sparkling conversationalist.
Great pick! It is customary that I ask each author I chat with to share a little known fact about themselves.
Emma: Well, all that springs to mind is a negative fact, but it’s unusual given that I’m Irish: I can’t stand the taste of alcohol. So I’ve never had a drink, which on the plus side means I’ve never lost a day to a hangover, but on the minus side means I have to ask friends for advice whenever I’m writing a scene with any kind of intoxication in it.
Emma thank you so much for time today! I appreciate you chatting and sharing here with us at Book Journey.
Readers, you can see more of what Emma is up to here at her website. Also – for those of you who have read this book, I had one more question I asked Emma, but that is going to have to go on the spoiler page. If you have read the book, be sure to check that out.