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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 430 posts for The Literary Sofa

My Books of 2021 – Fiction

It’s strange looking back on something nobody wanted: a full year of pandemic. Doesn’t 2021 feel like it’s been dragging on forever?  Despite everything, it’s been a very significant one for me personally and professionally. My second novel Scent came out (followed by the author, which wasn’t the plan but it’s all good); I was … Continue reading

Sunburnt Saints – An Anthology of Climate Fiction

Q & A with Andy Leach and Hannah Persaud, Founders of Seventy2One November has flashed by since my Reading Round-up early on. I’ve made a decent start on my new novel (by my standards – who cares how long it takes) and so thrilled to be writing again that my loathing of first drafts may … Continue reading

Queer Life, Queer Love: an anthology

This week’s unashamedly subjective post is all about a fantastic queer book which includes my first published poem as one tiny part (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write). It’s a project that means a lot to me and I know that’s a common feeling among those involved. Queer Life, Queer Love is an … Continue reading

November 2021 Reading Round-Up

As I’m now hard at work on my new novel as well as my other work, I’ll be posting less often than usual for a while but hopefully the quality of the books I’m recommending today makes up for that.  (Think you can captivate my audience?  See the postscript* if you’d like to pitch for … Continue reading

Writers on Location – Peter Papathanasiou on the Australian Outback

The last couple of months seem to have raced by. As usual I’m juggling several projects including a new mentoring role on the Retreat West novel course, which I am really enjoying, and gearing up to start writing my own. Today’s guest post by Pete Papathanasiou may be the first in a long time but … Continue reading

Book Pitch Spotlight 2021

Following last week’s Ten of my favourite novels of the last ten years, it’s exciting to be doing something new today: hosting my first spotlight on pitches for not-yet-published books by unagented writers. I’m also delighted that industry expert Andrew Wille accepted my invitation to share a few thoughts on what makes a good book … Continue reading

Ten of my favourite novels of the last ten years

There was a lovely response to last week’s post looking back on ten years of the Literary Sofa and since book selections have always been a big part of what I do here, I hope you’ll enjoy this post with the carefully worded title. Why is that? Well, as I read around 80 books per … Continue reading

10 Years of the Literary Sofa

This week is the 10th anniversary of the Literary Sofa and this is my third attempt to write something coherent about running the blog. It’s brought on an attack of the feels that I wasn’t expecting. The reason? Because it turns out to be impossible to separate my blogging life from my writing life from … Continue reading

French Fiction Special Edition

In a normal year about a quarter of my reading is in French but due to the toxic combination of Covid and Brexit, I didn’t read a single French novel in 2020 and really missed it, along with everything else I love about France.  That changed when I read All Men Want to Know by … Continue reading

Book Pitch Spotlight – Call for Entries

As part of the Literary Sofa’s fast approaching 10th anniversary celebrations, in early October I’m hoping to dedicate a post to 50-word book pitches* from unagented writers, featuring the 10 best ones in my opinion – and it is only my opinion! They will be chosen on the strength of the pitch, not my personal … Continue reading