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Isabel Costello

Writer (novels: Paris Mon Amour 2017; Scent 2021).Host of the Literary Sofa blog. Co-founder of Resilience for Writers with Voula Tsoflias. Perfume lover and Francophile.
Isabel Costello has written 445 posts for The Literary Sofa

Reading in the interest of writing

When I set out to write this as a regular round-up and it felt really flat I put it down to being out of practice – followers of the blog may have noticed that I haven’t been showing up much lately. Then it occurred to me that these aren’t just any books and I needed … Continue reading

Visible and vocal – a post for Bi Visibility Day 2022

I haven’t posted anything of substance for two months but today is Bi Visibility Day all over the world and a milestone in my world, as the first time I’ve marked the occasion as an openly bisexual person. It’s also significant because a tweet thread by literary agent Abi Fellows on this day last year … Continue reading

September – first drafts and fresh starts

Hello and happy September! Thought it was about time I showed my face after a long break from the blog. I hope you’ve had a good summer. Thanks to the incredible generosity of friends, mine has been bookended by trips to Spain in June and now Provence, where I’m enjoying some downtime with my French … Continue reading

Summer Reads Extras 2022

Welcome to the second instalment of my 2022 Summer Reads – shorter than the original selection but right up there on quality with the bonus of two titles translated from French.  I was delighted by the enthusiastic response to the recommendations I shared in June and hope you find yet more inspiration for your TBR … Continue reading

Guest Author – Lynn Bushell on being an artist writing about artists

We all have subjects we’re particuarly drawn to and in the almost 11 years I’ve been running this blog, novels about art and artists, real or fictional, are consistently among those I’ve enthused about the most. Sure, I love galleries and exhibitions and the beauty, stimulation and inspiration art gives me but I’ll also admit … Continue reading

Guest Author – Julie Owen Moylan on Women and Shame

A big thank you for the enthusiastic response to the first part of my Summer Reads selection last week. I’ve been doing this for over ten years and it’s fantastic to see people adding books I’ve raved about to their TBRs, especially ones they’d never heard of.  That’s unlikely to be the case with the … Continue reading

Summer Reads 2022

Hi and welcome to the first part of my Summer Reads selection that’s less about sun, beaches and cocktails – great as they are – and more about these being the most absorbing, emotionally engaging and thought-provoking books I’ve discovered recently and can’t stop talking about. I tell you why I picked each one and … Continue reading

Scent Paperback Publication Day

You’re joining me on a very happy day as the paperback edition of my second novel Scent is released. It’s had a gorgeous summery makeover by designer Jamie Keenan that evokes the Provence thread of the story, and the pink colour wash reminds me of the stunning Lubéron skies around sunset (and possibly sunrise, I’m … Continue reading

Writers on Location – Melissa Fu on Western China

It’s suddenly gone a bit ‘London buses’ here – less than a week after Ethan Joella’s beautiful piece on how personal grief inspired his debut novel A Little Hope, I’m hosting Melissa Fu whose post takes us to Western China, home to several of the settings in her own first novel Peach Blossom Spring. It’s … Continue reading

Guest Author – Ethan Joella: How personal grief inspired a debut novel

Now it feels like spring is here to stay and I hope you’ve enjoyed some sunshine and time off over the holidays. Today I’m joined by fellow Muswell Press author Ethan Joella whose debut novel A Little Hope is about to be published in the UK following its success in the States.  I hope we’ll … Continue reading