My debut novel, The End of Men, was released on 29 April this year and you can buy it now. It tells the story of a world in which a pandemic, to which women are immune, wipes out 90% of the male population. It’s told through the perspectives of multiple characters, both men and women. What does the world look like without most of its men? What would change? What would stay the same?
I work full time still as a corporate litigation lawyer in the City - I like doing both law and writing and find they benefit each other. I live in London but grew up in Glasgow. For fun, I read a lot, enjoy eating too much tiramisu and drinking wine with friends and travelling. If in doubt, go to Paris. Everything is better in Paris.
Are you working on something now?
Yes, I’m working on my next speculative novel which is a dystopian story exploring fertility and the environment. I’m also working on a contemporary YA novel I’m excited for.
Tell us about yourself?
Which six books will you take to the Island?
Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel.
This is one of my favourite novels, a beautifully told story of a pandemic that kills almost everyone on earth. Twenty years after the outbreak, a group travels across the US performing Shakespeare. A testament to culture and connection even in the middle of disaster.
The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn.
This is the novel that made me want to be a writer. I read it when I was thirteen on a cruise ship and given I am uncomfortable with both open water and organised fun, it was not a great week. So, to the library I went and I picked out the duck egg blue cover of this novel and fell in love. This is the second Bridgerton novel - and much better than The Duke and I in my opinion. Kate Sheffield is the best kind of heroine: warm, witty, resilient. A perfect romance novel.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by VE Schwab.
This is both a historical novel of huge scope and a fantasy full of magic and Gods and love. Addie is a teenager in rural France in the 1700s. She prays to the Gods after dark and exchanges her soul for immortality. The cost? She can’t be remembered, by anyone. A complete marvel.
Kingdom of Ash by Sarah J Maas
This is partly because it’s one of the longest books I’ve read at nearly 1,000 pages so I would get a lot of bang for my buck. But also because on a desert island I think I’d need books that felt completely immersive. The characters in this book, the final book in the Throne of Glass series of eight books, are going through tough times and are doing their best in impossible circumstances. That resilience, and friendship in the face of difficulty, would help.
Which disc will you take to the Island?
The Swan Lake score by Tchaikovsky - the full ballet, which I think is some of the most beautiful music of all time. Admittedly that might be cheating (although it is one piece of music!) so if I have to choose an extract then it would be the Finale - The Spell is Broken. Also my mum loves ballet, and always took me to watch them when I was little, so it reminds me of my family too.
What will be your luxury item?
An solar powered iPod so I can listen to music.
This item is confiscated as against the Island rules sorry :)
Which fictional character will you meet?
I want to be friends with Kate Sheffield from The Viscount Who Loved Me. She feels like a friend and is very practical and no nonsense. I think once rescued we could have pina coladas in a bar somewhere hot.