|Carol Lovekin has lived in Wales since
1979. She has Irish roots & a Welsh heart, is a feminist, a
flâneuse & a MerCrone. She writes contemporary fiction in
which the everyday is threaded with elements of magic.
GHOSTBIRD, her first traditionally published novel was published in March 2016 by Honno, the Welsh Women's Press. It was voted as both Waterstones Wales & Welsh Independent Bookshops Book of the Month April 2016, long-listed for the Not the Booker Prize 2016 & nominated as a Guardian Readers Book of the Year 2016.
"Carol Lovekin is a fiction writer, but the lyricism of her prose leads me to suspect her inner poet! The 'unquiet garden', tears that are 'uncertain how they were supposed to sound': phrases and images that lift this story into sensual and enchanting realms and make the novel hard to put down. The stories of three women - Lili, Violet and Cadi - are interwoven skilfully around the landscape, the weather, and the ancient magic that underlies the small Welsh village where they live. It is a tale of loss, of old anger, of being unable to let go of the past. A stunning novel, which makes one look forward to the next book from this very talented writer."
Kathy Miles, winner of the Bridport Poetry Prize 2015
Her second book, SNOW SISTERS, will be published on September 21st, just in time for the fair!
Questions for Carol
1. Are you working on another book?
My third novel is a departure from young central protagonists to an older, curmudgeonly woman.
2. What is your preferred genre?
There’s a wonderful quote by Matt Haig in his novel, The Humans. “There is only one genre in fiction. The genre is called book.” Both Ghostbird & The Snow Sisters are female-centric, contemporary ghost stories with hints of magical realism. They’re also fairly niche & defy categorisation quite nicely.
3. What do you love most about writing in your genre?
The landscape I inhabit is hugely inspirational & I find fiction the perfect vehicle for telling & re-telling women’s stories & experiences. Ghosts & hints of ‘otherworld’ fascinate me. It’s a mash-up of these aspects which I guess is my way of avoiding the ‘genre’ question again!
4. What is your writing style?
Less is more?
5. What gives you inspiration for your book(s)?
See question 3?
6. Of all the characters you have created, who is your favourite?
I adore Cadi Hopkins in Ghostbird because she arrived fully formed with her role clearly designated, in complete agreement with me with regard to a crucial plot line.
7. What is the biggest surprise that you experienced by becoming a writer?
That I could do it! Since my second book was accepted, I’m getting over myself & less inclined towards Imposter Syndrome.
8. What has been the best compliment?
A few people have commented favourably on the way I present my lesbian characters. This in particular was lovely to read because it exactly describes my intention:
“I … commend Lovekin for … her portrayal of same sex relationships: during the course of the story, Lily falls in love with another woman in the village – and that’s it: it isn’t swept under the carpet nor does it take over the narrative, it’s just one of the many elements in the novel’s tapestry, treated as completely normal, and its beautiful.”
I’m on a mission to ‘normalise the gay’ one lesbian at a time!
9. Tell us a little about your plans for the future?
I intend to keep on writing. (And continue subverting the status quo by removing questions from lists because I don’t do even numbers!)
Read an interview with Carol on Judith Barrow's blog