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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 327 posts for The Literary Sofa

Guest Author – Catherine McNamara on Writing about Sex and Desire

Back to my Summer Reads and I’m declaring this week’s post a Special Edition, partly because it’s a change from the normal format but mostly because I am so thrilled to be hosting the talented and lovely Catherine McNamara, whose second solo short story collection The Cartography of Others was recently crowdfunded by many and … Continue reading

The Word for Freedom – Short Stories of Women’s Suffrage

There’s a pause in my Summer Reads programme this week – the planned guest post is postponed until late July, but  something very exciting has popped up in its place… Amanda Saint, author and founder of Retreat West Books, has joined forces with fellow author (and past Sofa guest) Rose McGinty to curate and publish … Continue reading

Writers on Location – Clare Atkins on Darwin, Australia

It’s always exciting when a guest post hits my inbox. The writers are here because I love their work, and the pieces invariably give a telling and enticing flavour of the writing and the book.  How they choose to go about that is entirely their call; although the Writers on Location posts often do inspire … Continue reading

Writers on Location – Kerry Hadley-Pryce on the Black Country

A record number of Summer Reads authors are joining me on the Sofa this year and most are welcome additions to the popular Writers on Location series.  This is especially true of today’s guest Kerry Hadley-Pryce, whose second novel Gamble is set in the Black Country, a part of the UK I have not encountered … Continue reading

Guest Author – Emily Critchley on Writing a crossover novel

After a wonderful reception for last week’s piece on the Veneto by Elise Valmorbida, I’m delighted to welcome Emily Critchley, the second author from my Summer Reads 2018 line-up, to discuss a subject of particular interest to me and I’m sure to many of you.  Over the years I have enjoyed and featured many novels … Continue reading

Writers on Location – Elise Valmorbida on the Veneto, Italy

Of the many selections I’ve put together, I don’t think any have received such an enthusiastic response as my Summer Reads 2018 – many thanks for your interest, appreciation and especially for sharing it.  At a time when the role and motivation of book bloggers is (yet again) under discussion, the joy of spreading the … Continue reading

Summer Reads 2018

I’m delighted to be bringing you my Summer Reads 2018.  I’ve been hard to impress recently but the outcome is a selection of compelling and powerful titles which I really loved and for each one I tell you why! As always, there is a wide variety of settings – Italy [1], Australia [4], Chicago/Paris [8], … Continue reading

Books *and* Box Sets, not Either/Or

Literary culture (as in: everything to do with books) is under threat.  Libraries are closing, media coverage is shrinking, book prizes and literacy initiatives like Quick Reads (please somebody save Quick Reads) struggle and disappear, most authors earn next to nothing.  Will Self has a regular gig on the Death of the Novel.  As an author, … Continue reading

Guest Author – Louise Walters on Writing in a young person’s voice

This week is a first and a third! I’m really delighted to welcome Louise Walters as the first author ever to appear on the Literary Sofa three times (links to her previous posts are included below).  Louise has been a loyal supporter of the blog since it started over six years ago, we have got … Continue reading

Guest Author – Michael Dean on Fictionalising the Life of a Famous Artist   

As readers most of us have fictional themes or settings we especially enjoy.  The art world is undoubtedly one of mine, just as visiting exhibitions and galleries is one of my favourite pastimes, both here in London and on my travels.   Often I find the stories behind the works and the lives of the artists … Continue reading