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Isabel Costello

Novelist and short story writer based in London. Debut novel PARIS MON AMOUR now out in digital and audio, paperback on 22 May 2017. Host of the Literary Sofa blog.
Isabel Costello has written 307 posts for The Literary Sofa

My Books of 2017

This is one of the most fun posts to write but it’s also difficult, when I spend the entire year featuring books I’ve really enjoyed and rated here on the Literary Sofa.  So please do look beyond today’s list of my personal favourites to the many brilliant guest author posts I’ve hosted in 2017, which … Continue reading

Guest Author – Isabel Losada: Sex – Let’s be honest

I’ve resisted using this line for more than six years but this week’s extended post really is Sex on the Literary Sofa, discussed in very frank terms by two women called Isabel.  This is the moment where I might say ‘click away if you don’t like the sound of that’ – except that I really … Continue reading

Launch of Stories for Homes 2 – an anthology in aid of Shelter

On Saturday night I took part in a fantastic event supported by the Folkestone Book Festival: the paperback launch of the second volume of Stories For Homes, an anthology of 55 short stories, poems and flash fictions on the inexhaustible theme of ‘home’, in aid of UK housing and homelessness charity Shelter. Like the original … Continue reading

Book Review – This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay

This is the first time I’ve ever reviewed a book I have listened to, rather than read.  There’s been a huge boom in the popularity of audiobooks in recent years and I’m a partial convert; with fiction I don’t want anything to come between me and the words and seeing them is a big part … Continue reading

How do you know if a novel’s worth writing?

A few weeks ago I was walking along Newport Sands in Pembrokeshire with a clear head and a feeling of serenity – unfortunately it didn’t last long.  I recently had a big breakthrough in the first draft of my new novel and want to do nothing but write, but a couple of very stressful things … Continue reading

Guest Author – Charles Lambert on Entrapment

This week I am delighted to welcome back Charles Lambert, one of the most consistently brilliant authors I’ve discovered through running the Literary Sofa, especially as we finally met in person at his launch last week.  Charles first appeared here on publication of his beautiful and moving novel-in-fragments With a Zero at its Heart; his … Continue reading

Slow Journeys – Why we read

Today I’m pleased to be receiving a visit from one of the most prolific and versatile people I’ve met in the book business, and many of you will know her too:  Roz Morris is an award-nominated novelist (My Memories of a Future Life; Lifeform Three), book doctor to award-winning writers (Roald Dahl Funny Prize 2012), … Continue reading

Writers on Location – Henrietta Rose-Innes on Cape Town

Last week’s piece on Resilient Thinking and First Drafts was my first post about writing in a long time and it struck a chord with so many people that I’ve decided to do a follow-up on resilience and the editing process, once I get to that point with my new manuscript (patience required).  Whilst my … Continue reading

Resilient Thinking and First Drafts

As Hemingway famously said, ‘the first draft of anything is garbage.’ (I always thought he said ‘shit’ but anyway.) And as he also famously said, ‘writing is rewriting’. Now I am not a particular fan of Hemingway nor of writing aphorisms, which I have learned to approach on a ‘pick your own’ basis, (as in … Continue reading

Writers on Location – Naomi Hamill on Kosovo

Last week’s Autumn Sofa Spotlight sparked lots of interest, so thank you very much to the many who read and shared it.  One of the most rewarding comments I get is that my selections feature titles people haven’t heard of but now want to read; the books I enjoy aren’t usually the most talked-about or … Continue reading