Hi Jessie, Your debut is a book that I have been looking forward to, for a very long time, since you got your book deal in fact! Thanks for writing it, it's a great read, and also for doing this interview.
My pleasure. Thank you for having me.
With the idea for the novel coming to you after a visit to a museum in Amsterdam, did you purposely go there or was it by chance that the story arc was formed? No, it was all by chance. I was just there for a short holiday! Can you let me know about your background and how you got to become a writer? My professional background is working for 8 years as an actress, and in between jobs, temping as a PA in the City of London. I had always written since I was a little girl, into my teens - poetry, short stories, sketches to be performed. I loved English at school and studied it at Oxford. When things started getting tough in the acting profession shortly after the recession hit, I wasn't getting as many auditions or jobs to keep the bills paid. I'd already attempted one novel, which I abandoned. The Miniaturist became my creative escape. Everyone is saying this novel will appeal to fans of the books Goldfinch and Girl With a Pearl Earring, both stellar books, you must be ecstatic with such comparisons? Naturally so! I read Girl With A Pearl Earring many moons ago when I was a teenager, and I adored it. And The Goldfinch I read earlier this year. I get what Donna Tartt was saying, when she wrote about the Dutch masters. There is a sort of privacy about them, a delicacy of light, so enticing, but so locked away from you. How did you find the time to write a novel as good as this is? Ha, you flatter me. This is just how I write. When I get my mind to it, I work hard. Then I don't work as hard...I redrafted The Miniaturist about 17 times to get it to a place I was satisfied with. It was not easy. I just didn't give up. What is your favourite book, and why? That is an impossible question!! I have about five wedged in my heart. Today, I'll say Jane Eyre. I will be eternally close to that book. Are you currently reading anything at present? Yes. I'm reading Fear of Flying by Erica Jong, After Me Comes The Flood by Sarah Perry and Little Egypt by Lesley Glaister. What do the next 12 months hold for you? I'm not entirely sure. The novel is coming out in 30 countries, so if any of them would like a visit, I have a passport and my inoculations. I doubt I will be invited to all of these countries, however, so I will just be getting on with writing book 2. I ask everyone this, and as of yet, all have answered, so, "If you could be an animal, what would it be and why?" I love questions like this! For the chance of flight, to soar and dip, to travel to many different lands - can I bea peregrine falcon?