Beta
X

20Nov

The Appeal writer Janice Hallett: ‘I wrote about bubble bath for 15 years’

The author of the bestselling whodunnit on co-writing a 2011 film about a pandemic, her love of suspense, and what Dickens has in common with Jackie Collins

Janice Hallett, 52, is the author of The Appeal, an ingenious whodunnit and a new take on the epistolary novel, composed of emails and texts. She studied English at UCL, screenwriting at Royal Holloway and co-wrote the film Retreat in 2011. She has worked as a journalist and in government communications for the Cabinet Office, Home Office and Department for International Development. The Appeal, which centres on an amateur drama group, is a runaway bestseller and has been shortlisted for Waterstones book of the year

You must have felt like a detective yourself when planning the plot – your book is so meticulously detailed…
I never plan a thing in advance – it takes the joy out of it. I drew up a blank page and wrote for about a year and then there was a lot of reverse engineering. I’d been working on an idea for a TV series but wasn’t getting anywhere. So when Cameron Roach, head of drama at Sky, who’d been mentoring me, suggested I write a novel, I wondered if I could focus on minor characters from the TV series and the emails between them.

Continue reading...

Related

All the Flowers Kneeling by Paul Tran review – a confrontation of pain and poetic form

The aftermath of abuse is met head-on by subtle and delicate skill in the Vietnamese-American poet’...

Read More >

Lea Ypi: ‘Hope is a moral duty’

The Albanian author and academic on what she misses most about her homeland and how a communist chil...

Read More >

Music for the Dead and Resurrected by Valzhyna Mort review – a bright new voice from an endless winter

This exceptional collection from the Belarus-born poet digs into what happens when the self goes mis...

Read More >

Every Family Has a Story by Julia Samuel review – why we inherit our parents’ problems

The bestselling psychotherapist explores how trauma and anxiety can pass through generations in thes...

Read More >

Unexhausted Time by Emily Berry review – language that defies all limits

These strange, intimate poems blur the boundaries between waking and dreaming, past and futureIn Emi...

Read More >

C+nto & Othered Poems by Joelle Taylor review – punchy tales of lesbian life

The winner of the TS Eliot prize offers a rallying cry for gay unity amid prejudice and deathJoelle ...

Read More >