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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 342 posts for The Literary Sofa

A Novel Process – the ‘Re-type Draft’

Like many novelists, I get asked a lot of tricky questions and that’s not likely to change when my next book comes out. (Yes, I’m saying ‘when’ because I have to believe that to put myself through this.)  Today’s post – by popular demand! – looks at some of those questions and my experience of … Continue reading

The Word for Freedom – Stories of Women’s Suffrage

This week I am delighted to be featuring The Word for Freedom, an anthology just published to celebrate the centenary of female suffrage in the UK.  Amanda Saint, founder of Retreat West, joined forces with fellow author Rose McGinty to bring together these 24 stories, all donated by the authors to raise funds for London … Continue reading

Guest Post – Ben Blackman on Taking nine months to read one novel

Enter my competition she said, you could win a lunch with me she said. Yet somehow it comes to the fact I (that’s italics too but it’s difficult to tell if you can see) have ended up in charge of the Literary Sofa this week while Isabel pretends to be hard at work on her … Continue reading

Writers on Location – Joy Rhoades on the New England Tableland, NSW, Australia

The first Australian Writers on Location post (Clare Atkins on Darwin) proved exceptionally popular back in the summer and I’m delighted to be returning to a very different part of this huge and beautiful country in the company of Joy Rhoades, author of The Woolgrower’s Companion.  It’s a first novel which has achieved critical success, … Continue reading

Pick a book, any book (you hadn’t heard of)

This is a parallel post to Book Hype (for want of a better word), inspired by the entries to my recent Literary Lunch competition in which entrants had to name a book they’d really enjoyed this year.  It could be any type of book, regardless of publication date. The 40 suggestions I received were too … Continue reading

Book Hype (for want of a better word)

Sometimes I commit to writing something and then think Oh shit.  I did briefly wonder if it’s possible to talk about book hype and the like without it generating cynicism and negativity, which is not the intention. I want to look at an interesting question. How do the various ways we discover books affect our … Continue reading

Guest Author – Claire Fuller on Finding Inspiration in Place

I’d like to start by thanking everyone for the exceptional response to last week’s Literary Lunch competition, which prompted a deluge of retweets, entries and appreciation for the blog.  Just as well I did keep going!  And since the entries took the form of book recommendations and there were so many great ones – including … Continue reading

The Literary Lunch 2018 blog anniversary competition *now ended*

*UPDATE* THE COMPETITION HAS NOW ENDED! Thank you for all the shares, entries, and appreciation.  The winner is Zarina, who has a great blog of her own, Page to Stage, and I’m really looking forward to our lunch.  So many brilliant recommendations resulted from this year’s competition – including many I hadn’t heard of – … Continue reading

Writers on Location – Amanda Huggins on Japan

Welcome to the first guest post of the new season, a special one in several ways.  It’s the first time Japan has featured in my Writers on Location series, and also the first time I’ve had the pleasure of hosting an award-winning travel writer.  Amanda Huggins’ fiction and travel writing have been published in a … Continue reading

The Verdict on my Summer Reading 2018 – Part Two

It’s been a frantic couple of weeks since I returned from Provence and the days of lounging by the pool reading for 6+ hours seem very distant. Last week I reported on half of the books I read during my August blog break, but as the others were just as good and included several I … Continue reading