I’m a writer of contemporary fiction. Originally from Salisbury, Wiltshire, I have lived in London for over 30 years but my lifelong links with France regularly take me back to Paris and Provence. I read French and German at university and am delighted that both of my grown-up sons share my love of languages.
My debut novel Paris Mon Amour was released in June 2016 by digital publisher Canelo (UK, USA and Canada) and as an audio book from Audible (worldwide). It was published in paperback under my own Literary Sofa imprint in May 2017 and was a W H Smith Travel Summer Pick. My second novel Scent will be published by Muswell Press in April 2021.
My short fiction has been published in magazines and anthologies including Rattle Tales 2 and both volumes of Stories for Homes in aid of Shelter. I’ve been longlisted in the 2013 Lightship Flash Fiction competition and shortlisted for The Asham Award 2012, Short Fiction Journal Prize 2013 and the inaugural 2014 Room To Write competition. My short story The Word for Freedom lent its name to the Retreat West anthology to mark the centenary of women’s suffrage in autumn 2018. You can hear me read it here.
In 2017 I co-founded Resilience for Writers with author and psychologist Voula Tsoflias, a project which emerged from posts about my writing journey on this blog. Our Resilient Thinking for Writers workshop teaches skills which can help any writer to navigate the inevitable setbacks and stay on track – sadly live workshops are off the cards for the time being but we’re working on other ways to bring the content to you.
I really enjoy collaborative approaches to creative writing and exchange critiques with several other writers as well as undertaking freelance editorial work. I’m pleased to be part of the WoMentoring Project where I offer support to women writers.
I’ve been part of a stimulating and highly opinionated book group for 18 years. My personal territory as reader and writer centres on the crossover between literary and commercial fiction (I often think it’s hard to tell the difference). I am drawn to books featuring complicated families/relationships, particularly with LGBT characters; realistic portrayal of female sexuality (especially that of ‘older women’); strong geographical settings. I also love reading in French.
My background is in marketing and communications (promoting London firstly as a tourist destination then as a global finance centre). I am also a professionally qualified aromatherapist, trained at the Tisserand Institute. That has led onto a passionate interest in perfumery, one of the themes of my forthcoming novel Scent.
My leisure interests include travel (favourite destinations France, USA and South Africa), foreign language film and TV, art and cooking. I am a keen swimmer and general fitness enthusiast.
You can get in touch via Twitter @isabelcostello – except August, when I take the month off – or in the comments section on any posts. However, please be aware that I don’t accept review requests directly from authors.
My agent is Diana Beaumont at Marjacq Scripts.
Photos authorised for publicity can be found in the Gallery.
About the Literary Sofa
I started this blog in September 2011, inspired by my love of reading and talking about good novels – it’s what I do all the time in real life. Here you’ll find in-depth reviews, listings, guest author posts and features about fiction from the perspective of both readers and writers. I hope you find something to add to your TBR list and look forward to hearing what excites you in the world of books. I was longlisted for Best Reviewer in the Saboteur Awards 2016 and in 2019 I received a Special Mention for Best Literature Reviewer..