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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 375 posts for The Literary Sofa

Writers on Location – Dominic Brownlow on The Fens

This week I am very excited to be hosting Dominic Brownlow and his outstanding literary debut The Naseby Horses, set in his native Fenland in eastern England.  Whist his novel centres on the extremely well-travelled premise of a missing person (the teenage protagonist’s twin sister), the result is truly something else.  It has various thematic … Continue reading

Writers on Location – Helen Young on Bogotá, Colombia

In the first half of this year I hosted fewer Writers on Location posts than usual but we’re making up for that now with Linda Mannheim’s American “Happy Valley” last week and today’s guided tour of Colombia’s capital city in the company of Helen Young (and another next week, see postscript).  Helen’s second novel Breakfast … Continue reading

Writers on Location – Linda Mannheim on Western Massachusetts: ‘The Happy Valley’

Following the very welcome enthusiastic reception for my Autumn Sofa Spotlight last week, today I’m delighted to be hosting one of the authors included there – American short story writer Linda Mannheim.  Every year I come across one or two story collections which leave me reeling at what can be accomplished in the space of … Continue reading

Autumn Sofa Spotlight 2019

It’s hard to know how to introduce this year’s Autumn Sofa Spotlight, though that’s no reflection on the six fantastic books included.  When I announced I was taking a few weeks away from the blog before bringing you today’s selection, I had no idea this would coincide with the last agonising crisis in my mother’s … Continue reading

Books People Love 2019

Normally I’m the one recommending books here but once a year we switch roles. The latest Literary Lunch competition attracted a record number of entries and the fascinating and eclectic list of book recommendations below.  Entrants have to name the book they’d most enjoyed this year regardless of genre or publication date and every time … Continue reading

The notebook, the craft and the long hard graft

Firstly, thanks so much to everyone who entered the Literary Lunch competition and a big welcome to new subscribers. The number of entries topped all previous years and once again resulted in a brilliant and eclectic list of book recommendations.  Next week I’ll publish them in list form and you can join me in picking … Continue reading

Literary Lunch Competition 2019 – now ended

  *COMPETITION NOW ENDED* Every autumn I run this competition to celebrate another year in business on the blog, which turned 8 a couple of weeks ago. There was too much going on at the time, with my Month of Canadian Fiction and last week’s guest post by Ken Elkes on Flash Fiction, both of … Continue reading

Guest Author – K M Elkes on Flash Fiction

This is not only the first guest post of the autumn season, it’s also the first time flash fiction has appeared on the Literary Sofa.  This wasn’t a gap I was actively looking to fill, although it’s certainly long overdue – the vitality of the flash scene and the increasing popularity of the ultimate short … Continue reading

A Month of Canadian Fiction

You’ve seen the mountains, now let’s talk about the books! After last week’s travel post on Canada, here’s the one I promised on my month of reading exclusively Canadian fiction (an action-packed two week trip didn’t give me much time to read, so I kept going).  When I asked my Twitter followers for recommendations of … Continue reading

Two Weeks in the Canadian Rockies and NW Montana

There’s nothing like mountains, or any vast natural landscape formed millions of years ago, to remind us humans how tiny and temporary we are.  When you look at it that way, our trip to the Canadian Rockies and north-western corner of Montana wasn’t as long ago as it feels (back at the beginning of my … Continue reading

My Novel – Now out in paperback