With amazing books like Tigers in Red Weather, Above All Things, One Good Hustle and The Watch; our authors are definitely one talented bunch. With the hope that some of their talent would rub off on us, we decided to poll them to find out what they like to wear while they write, where their ideal writing havens are and what they munch on while writing the stories we so love to read.
Take the quiz below to see which author you’re most like and then get started on your own literary masterpiece.
1. Where is your favourite place to write?
A: In my garden, with a cup of coffee and a cigarette.
B: At a rented cottage somewhere far away. Changing your routine is good for creativity, so I enjoy writing on self-created ‘retreats’ whenever I can.
C: On the couch, or in bed. Or best of all in a big old La-Z-Boy chair. Now that’s writing!
D: My desk at home, surrounded by my library.
2. If there was one book you wish you had written what would it be?
A: The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. I’m fascinated by its exploration of forgiveness. It’s so erudite and so intuitive at the same time.
B: 1984. Something that meaningful, but that well written. Something that has weight and meaning and plot. Something that has an impact on our very language.
C: I’ve never been one for having a single favorite of anything, but it would be really something to write a book that people were still reading in fifty years. To Kill a Mocking Bird, Catcher in the Rye, The Grapes of Wrath —and people are still rereading and reinventing Agatha Christie novels through film.
D: Embers by Sandor Márai.
3. What’s your favourite city in the world?
A: London. I love how green it is, its literary history, its Sunday roasts and pub lunches and crazy eccentric people.
B: I love Paris. But there are so many great cities I haven’t even been to yet.
C: There’s that “favourite” thing again. I can’t choose one flavor. Rome is astonishing. Washington, DC is old and important, yet its filled with what feel like comfortable neighborhoods, Vancouver is beautiful and blue. So much I still want to see: Florence, Italy, St. Petersburg, Russia, Savannah, Georgia….
D: Baghdad in the eighth century AD.
4. If you could talk to any writer living or dead who would it be, and what would you ask?
A: Charles Dickens. I’d really like to pick his brain on the idea of the absurd vs. the real. He was a master at creating these characters who are at once absolutely ludicrous and heart-breakingly real.
B: I’d love to sit down with Byron over a glass of wine or something stronger and talk about him – get some answers about what really went on behind closed doors.
C: Flannery O’Connor. Where did you get the moxie, missy?!
D: I’d ask Tolstoy how he maintained his focus during the writing of War and Peace.
6. Do you have a guilty pleasure read?
A: Peyton Place by Grace Metalious, although I don’t feel all that guilty about it, sadly.
B: I love fashion magazines. They’re perfect for the bath, or lounging in the sun.
C: The New York Post. They write the best headlines! And I love the readers’ comments at the end of each story—They’re rude and bitey!
D: I’ve many. Here’s one: The Flashman series by George McDonald Fraser.
7. What do you drink or eat while you write?
A: Too much coffee, iced-tea, egg salad sandwiches.
B: I like to snack. It’s a terrible habit. Popcorn. Or sunflower seeds. I mostly drink water and coffee. In the evenings – I’ll have a beer or a glass of wine while I work.
C: A lot of tea. I’m big on Tiger Tea (Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice.) I mix it with the Mandarin Orange Spice and add a bit of juice. On winter nights, a little rum doesn’t hurt.
D: A cup of green tea in the morning and evening; lots and lots of water. A protein heavy breakfast; carbs for brunch; salad for lunch; snack for mid-afternoon; a light dinner in the early evening; protein snack before sleep.
If you answered mostly A’s. Your author twin is Liza Klaussman, author of Tigers in Red Weather. Liza’s story is full of glamour and family secrets; with sultry prose, it’s one of the hottest books this summer.
If you answered mostly B’s. Your literary like is Tanis Rideout, author of Above All Things. Tanis tells the true story of George Mallory’s harrowing club up Mount Everest in 1924 and weaves it together with a day in the live of his wife back at home. Above All Things is a beautiful and romantic debut novel that reaches unimaginable peaks.
If you answered mostly C’s. Your writing kin is Billie Livingston, author of One Good Hustle. Billie’s novel is a joy to read. Its dark, funny, graceful, witty. You’re in good company here.
If you answered mostly D’s. You’re rubbing shoulders with Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya, author of The Watch. Joydeep’s poignant and powerful novel tells the story of one woman’s determination and refusal to consent in her struggle for the return of her brother’s body in war torn Kandahar.