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A Novel Evening
A Novel Evening

Episode 34 · 1 month ago

A Novel Evening with Phoebe Wynne

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Dannie is joined by Phoebe Wynne, author of the Gothic sensation 'Madam' and her upcoming novel 'The Ruins', to chat all about her inspirations, her novels and precisely what Chris Hemsworth smells like!

You can preorder a copy of The Ruins here: The Ruins by Phoebe Wynne | Waterstones

and find Phoebe on Instagram here: Phoebe Wynne (@phoebewynnewrites) • Instagram photos and videos

Hello and welcome to a novel evening, the podcast where I chat with fellow book lovers and authors about their ideal fictional night of fun at my name is Danny. You can find me over on Bookstogram as at blooded ink books, and this episode I am joined by the incredible phoebe win. Phoebe is the author of Madam, which was one of my absolute favorite books of last year. I had all the gothic girls school vibes perilously perched on the edge of a cliff. It had the isolation and the drama and the scandals that I absolutely live for. And her newest book, the ruins, is due out this year and I'm super excited to read it. I can't wait to chat with her all about it and find out more and yet and discover all about her novel evening. So a huge hello to phoebe. Hello, hi, how are you doing today? Oh, yes, fine, thanks. Yeah, it's a jolly Saturday. So that's great. Thank you for having me. I'm very jealous because, as you've told me, you are in the south of France. Yeah, I mean it's like it's for me, it's like a retreat, as it is nice, but I mean, don't need to jealous, because there's also like I've had to ask my aunt to bring me to mini eggs because I didn't get any of this Easter and she's about to come from England and I've got like a list of things like, you know, bake beans. Stupid, isn't it? The friends they're not going to do bake beans and mini eggs. Don't really know what mini it's really sad there's no cadberis in France. It's heartbreaking. Yeah, oh my gosh. Do you live out there then for some months of the year? Are you kind of based in both or definitely like based grounded in England? But I when I need writing faces, this is a great place to come and I'm alone here and it's a family house. Who and it's just really quiet. I have friends it, which is nice, but it's just basically to concentrate on the writing. Is Really Great. Make so your pick and choose. If you want to go and socialize and break up the writing of it, then you can, but otherwise you're completely alone in your writing. Exactly. Yeah, and even sometimes if I do socialize while I'm writing, because I tend to write such dark stuff, I have to, like if I'm invited something, I had to give stop the whole day and not write that day, otherwise I'll be grumpy or unhappy body or which is really funny. My friends find that really strange because obviously your books are quite intense. I would say I adored Madam. It was like one of my favorite reads of last year, so good. I I absolutely loved it, but it was a very dark story. Yeah, really intense. Yeah, very, very intense. What was your kind of inspiration for the story? I think so I will, because I'm writing book number three at the moment. For some reason, I think I will always write about the struggle of women. I will always it will always be dark and they're always be a gothic element. They'll always be like an ancient element to it as well. But when I put my inspiration chance, your question was mostly I took some time out from teaching and I wanted to concentrate on writing and I couldn't help all of my writing classes I went to I kept coming up with the same scenes of girls and a bonding school, which was my latest the school I had left recently left and if you've read Madam, I don't want to spoil it for your listeners, but ten I saw the ending first, because I love Gothic novels. Yeah, and I'm a classics teacher, so I used to. So I'm that kind of tragic, devastating ending. I Love Very Greek, you know, if you think of like Edipus dabbing his eyes out when he finds...

...out the truth, and so we can't see the truth anymore. And so I saw that ending and I thought how interesting. How did we get here? So it started from the ending and then I sort of plotted my way backwards in my writing classes and it sort of came. Came very quickly actually. But there was a lot of ancient Greek stuff. Obviously it is, as you know, yeah, book and Roman history to and then, yeah, and then the kind of gothic element. You can't escape the gothic stuff. Were I in my writing. It's things like, you know, the troops, like the house, the yes, always have them. With Madam it's a school. With my second novel it's a shatter. So and there's always a vulnerable female and then you've got that aggressive male energies and have to be one man. It could be many or could be the system like it is in Madam M and then the isolation aspect and the fun you can have with that was really exciting. I'm going I could not write it really. It gives me very daphne to Mario Vibes and I didn't make it hanging rock. It's really got that kind of feel about it and I seek there's something that when you get a group of teenage girls together completely, I stayed from now so world, they become almost their own kind of justice system. Yeah, like eighest type thing. Yeah, that's I had a chat with a friend yesterday who just finished Madam and she was like where did you get the imagagination? And hesitate to say this because people hate to hear it, but a lot of the things that are said to rows by other students was was said to me. I can imagine there are a lot of teachers out there that it is not usual for me to teach wealth and to teach all girls and everything. And, as you say, yeah, girls together they can be really terrifying. Yeah, I think when you don't have boys in the mix to kind of break up that really strong female energy sometimes, especially in a you know, a scenario that within a school it can become quite a pack mentality. I feel like with girls they can kind of form these very intend as bonds with each other. Yeah, I think that's really true. I have a lot of reasons book contact me on Instagram and social media. That's say, Oh, your book made me feel guilty about the way I treated this person. That's cool. Yeah, every teacher I had, I might I was awful. Yeah, it's funny, isn't it? I even had a book club. I spoke with a book club and one of the ladies theirs said her husband had a really traumatic time aboard these school in them she never understood it, never really talked about it, and she read Madam and this she was like, Oh my God, I get it and stand now. It's because it's completely away from society and reality. I think it becomes sort of strange. Imadam, it felt like this really strange other worlds. That's exactly right and I think when you can even sit in the current UK government, you know the idea of things that you can get away was get away with if you're rich enough, of your Ph enough, of your privilege enough. I think that's a really interesting idea which is really current yeah, absolutely, and you've obvious said the ruins is due out and I'm really excited. And you said it's set within a chateau. Yeah, so that comes out in July. It's the summer. It's a summer holiday. It's again like slightly autobiographical, but not really, because, I mean school in Madam doesn't really exist. But ten it's about three young girls on holiday and their families are all sisters, but their families of friends and they're a shadowed plants. It's the family house of one of the girls and it's summer like they haven't really had before and it's quite nightmarish. It's also quite a dallic and the adults. It's about sort of adults and the way they teat the way they treat treat the children, and it's got a very gothic element. But it's hot instead of it being cold. You just have that isolated and it's sort of about again the well off, the well off and privileged Brits doing what they think they can and getting away with things that they shouldn't be able to go away with. And there's an element as well, a double...

...timeline in it where one of the girls twenty years later she comes back and it's another timeline and and and the the shadows for sale and something terrible happen that summer. So you understand from the beginning that somebody term happens. So you have to sort of Navi get your way through it's because so there's a lot of psychological suspense in there too, which is really fun to write. But it's quite it's very meaty and the ruins be interesting to see how people respond to it. Yeah, I'm excited and I think again, I'm not privileged and I've not been on a very luxurious holiday, but there is something about when you're a young girl, teenager, when you get to go on holiday and you get just little tastes of the freedoms that you're allowed on holiday, and I think it's real easy to think that you're a mature adult because you're in this other country and you know it's hot and sunny and I really love the idea of, you know, young women in this very isolated setting. kind of I think it's so you realize actually you are still a child in some ways. Yes, yeah, I think that's true. I really enjoyed writing it because most of it comes from the child's perspective. It's in the third person, but I really enjoyed writing things as if you were a child, the way that children see these, because I'm especially as a teacher. I'm so interested in how people don't often, even other teachers like, they don't often pay attention to children, the stort of Think, Oh, you know, punish that kid. But kids remember stuff, kids are paying attention much more than yes, and I've really tried to explore that in the rooms to see happy respond to it, and so far I've had well, I mean it's not hard at all. You know, I've had a couple of readers respond really positively, so that's good. I mean, I've got a five year olds daughter, so she's very young, but she her memory is outrageous and sure remember things that I've either promised her from Fay, you know. She said, Oh, you told us we were going to go do that next week, we'll go and do that, and then she'll remember, like you said that this week we're going to do this. And I think kids they really do absorb it and they keep it locked in there more than adults do. Yes, yeah, I've noticed that with you know, they're like people out there that are like thirty that I used to teach and they remember stuff even from when they were a yeah, and you've hinted the all working on book three. Yes, is there anything you can tell us about book three? I can't really. I can't really yet, but it's it is again a gothic story about women. It follows a lot of the GOTHIC tropes. I can't seem to get away from the classical element, because there's even the classical element of by that I mean ancient things. Yes, yeah, in, in, in the ruins, and because the girls are told the series of stories and and then if one too, I'm sort of playing with another kind of idea. So that's so. Yeah, it's if you've enjoyed madam and then the ruins, then the third one will be very much in the same vein. Oh, I love it. So now I've got a little inkling in my brain of what might possibly happen in your novel evening. I could be completely wrong, but you've mentioned classics a few times and I'm curious whether that will crop up in your evening. You'll see. I don't know. Okay, I'm intrigued. I have an image in my head now and you're probably going to completely go the opposite way, and I'm intrigued. But so we're gonna go on this novel evening together. I'm going to be like your Matre d for the night. Basically, I just get to come along to all these evenings for free and come and check them all out. So I'm intrigued. To start with. Where are we going to go for your evening? Well, it's probably be easier to start with WHO. But Oh, okay, because actually when I when you send me your questions, I was really interested in them and I thought because I'm more interested in the brains. So I don't really like where it is, but doesn't mean what I would want. Those that like food and drink is like readily available. Is that? I think? I think that's more than yeah, that's I think. With this I'm always very just like whatever you want to do and if the main element is the people and good food and good drink...

...and the setting doesn't really matter. Let mean, this will explain, but I think probably like a really nice pub or in in Yorkshire Way, if you know, if you know where that is. I've never been to Yorkshire, so I have very much been on sort of the south coast and I haven't ventured that far, but I do have images in my head. If somebody says like a Yorkshire Pub, I'm thinking cozy, only good food. Yeah, hearty, fair, yeah, really dark. Yeah, yeah, so, yeah, I'm imagining some light litzconce has and saying stuff on the walls. Okay, brilliant. So we're on the Yorkshire Moors, we've got a little pub, there's good food. WHO's the first person who's going to join us at the cozy pub? Well, it's three and that's why I've set it in Yorkshire. So it would be the three brunte sisters. That makes perfect sense. So that's the town they is it? Have I had a mind blind? I think it's the time they grew up in was where they're put pathonages and you can do visit their house where they live, and I've been there and it's really wonderful. And so yeah, I think they're my first three guests. That's really interesting because we have her people come on here and they usually mention one bronte sister, usually Charlotte. Generally sometimes Anne, but having three, I was quite interesting to see the dynamic between the three sisters. Well, that's easy. I want to read at them and I want to hear them talk and I want to ask some questions because I love Charlotte is my favorite, which is really predictable because of it. But I think they are amazing and I think I love visiting their house and you can read their letters and things and the way the Charlotte writes about her sisters, how she misses them, because the two of them died before quite what I think you know it was. They were. They all died fairly close, I think, didn't they? And I know we bought Charlotte. I think it's wrong. I thought emily and Ann died like eight years before charlottege I might be wrong. I know she definitely died last but he yes, she did. Didn't cheek. She was expecting. Yeah, so she when she talks about how much she misses them, and I don't know if you've seen the TV the BBC adaptation, not adaptation, because it was a original screenplay, but it was called to walk invisible. I still heard is that. You know if you're if you like the one sisters it's amazing and it's written by Sally Wayne Right, who wrote, you know, Happy Valleys Richens, when Jack and he's a her and it's about the three sisters and I watched it when I was teaching and it's about, you know, their dad sort of going blind and their brother gets drunk a law and they think all day, you know, what are we going to do when our father dies and my brother not look afterress? We should really take a punts at writing. Yeah, it's the wonderful kind of that was part reason why I went to visit their place in Howard. I didn't know that you could and I just found it so inspiring and our teaching. I thought, you know what, I'm going to try and going to take a year and take a punt say if I can try writing. And I just think the three of them as like little people and brains operating and chatting to each other and encouraging each other, reading each other's pages. I envy that hugely and I'd love to reunite them and listen to them talk. I don't even have to have into the conversation, but I might ask some questions. Yeah, but just to listen as to how they interact and because I think their life was actually quite tragic in a lot of ways. Usually, yeah, and yet they was so incredibly talented and they really did kind of drag themselves out of what could have been a really awful situation, like you say, with their father and their brother, and really could have been horrendous. I totally agree and I think you've got you know, now we have with that. I'm so lucky to have two editors, US and UK, and you have publishers, have...

...marketing, you have lots under the umbrella of the publishing house. Yeah, and copy, you know, all that sort of stuff. And you, those guys, I had nothing but each other. And how can you the idea of having Jane without an editor? It's just like I was mad, isn't it? It's just much so hurt and or even in the you know what would endly have written if you had lived beyond weathering height? And I think, and lot of people will argue, that the ten of wealth felt world. Bell Hall is, you know, the best is the best book of all three. Yeah, an, and I just think such brains. I would love to just sit and what you know is to just to pick pick things out of what they're saying and just to hear them would be would be incredible. If, as well, we're not good at that now. Well, I don't know what. Depends on what kind of person you are, but I think it's difficult to be courageous in this day and age. I think I agree, actually I definitely agree with that. I think courage is something that's not asked of us as often and the courage we are expected of us is not on the same level. Especially then you're the expectations of three young women living somewhere rural like that would be so different to you know many where, you know you can Jane Austin. The expectations of the bronze sisters next to US still be so different, so different. Yes, and I think you know that boldness that they had. I think it's really narracle, really, yeah, yeah, truly, I love this idea. I can see them, you know, nestling in at this pub, sitting around in their little corner, being reunited, and wouldn't that be a thing to get to like witness? Yes, wouldn't it be great? I love that. Goodness. Okay, we've got the bronze sisters and I completely see why you've made that choice. Have you got anyone else coming? Yes, I think I would love to have to any to mar it. Yeah, because I felt like you two would get on really well. It saying that because I know the definitely Mary was a big Fan of Charlotte Bronte. So I think that would be really fun as well to see that. Wow, questions to her. That's amazing. Things you forget these people that you look up to that are these incredib writers. They also had writers that they looked up to that they, you know, would give their right, you know, right tooth to get to me. And Yeah, the idea of you getting to meet daphnely getting to meet Charlotte and getting to all talk about your gorgeous Gothic novels. We yeah, becausecuse you, because you could. I don't know if you're a fan of Rebecca. I mean I'm a huge fan. That's actually had to teach at one point, which is amazing, and the way it follows so much Jane, I think is wonderful, with the wife of the mad woman in the attic type of thing, that dead wife, the kind of dominant male and the kind of a byronic hero in him as well, and I'd love to talk to deafne to Maria about one of my other favorite novels of hairs is my cousin Rachel. But that to read and I can't wait. Wonderful and I'd love to know you think of it, because she as I was reading it, you don't is from them, the man's perspective. Okay, I mean I would call her a hardcourt first. I don't know whether she would agree, but it's from it's about Rachel and you don't know, is you're reading it, whether she is a demon or an angel, and you change your mind all the time and even by the very end. I would love to us say to her, what do you really think about Rachel? I'm not spoiling out, I mean it's up to yeah, no, no, I think that is and I think the amazing that has she wrote complex women, women who weren't hersfect, and the same with the broncaise sisters. They all wrote women who were a little bit difficult, maybe a little bit stubborn, little bit, you know, you know, headstrong, and we're all kind of complex flaud women, and I think you did that very well with rose in, madam because I don't think rose was. Thank you so much for saying that, because I really wrote rose as a kind of every woman. Yeah, because I'm not. I you know, I read a lot of books and it's interesting that trend for like...

...a kind of Catnis Everdean. But I mean I don't know personally any CATNIS everdeens in my life. Everyone's know, like we're all paper are of planes on in a storm or something, you know, like and if for me I'm in Madam, I wanted the girls to be because they young, they've got that sprightly I was interested in the three girls becoming their own heroines rather than rose being their hair. They're the ones that rescue themselves. Yes, and I think, but with but there's any something interesting, but definitely to my I listened to her. I'm a big fan of desiland disks, you know, and radio. Yeah, I yeah, I haven't listened a long time, but I've heard of it. But if you they have a big archive. So if you think I love that person, have a look see if they like. I see else some l Jackson, for example, he might have one or shame, as he's my favorite poet. This one for him and she has one. Definitely tomorrow from like hey s and I hate to tell you, I found it deeply disappointing. Oh yeah, I don't expect to be like Oh this. No, it was very sweet. They were like Oh, you've got your house in Cornwall, which was mandally she's getting you'll lovely, and she didn't. After she gave but I think maybe it was the interviews pulp. I was like, come on, I know that there's someone in there. That's somewhere within you. Is this rebel? Get it out. Yeah, that's it, like some somewhere in her. Because when you read Rebecca, and it was fun to teach it, the kids were like definitely, tomor loves Rebecca and hates the main character, and I was like you know, maybe you know, yeah, because the main character doesn't have a name, for example. Then the narrator. Yeah, yeah, she's Mrs De Winter, isn't she? At the end Rebecca wins and and and when you read my cousin Rachel, and then you read the other ones out, some of the other ones after that her short you know. She wrote the birds that. I didn't know that until I started recording this podcast and somebody said that and I took a moment I was like she wait what she wrote the book? I didn't know that was based on a story. To be honest, some of her show stories are really dark and you think, yeah, let's talk to you. So in the design and disk I was hoping that she would get into that. But maybe because it's BBC as well, maybe maybe when you're a BBC radio for about then you had to be on your best behavior. Yeah, and I love about her books very much like the Bronte's and again, like Madam there's always a strong motif. There's always I think that's a very gothic element, isn't it? There's usually a color, you know, Jane Harry's got red and this fire, or there's and I definitely think, definitely kind of nail that, didn't she? She always had the very strong if you're right, and in Rebecca that's a plant, the plants and the rocks and like it always like jacket or everything throngling something. And Yeah, yeah, that's so interesting. I love it and I love the fact you've got these four very strong women in this room now. Yeah, yeah, I be exciting and obviously they would ask you questions about your books as well. Yeah, I'd be like I'd be I'm like quite naturally a shy person, so I'd be like, Oh, no, don't know that as well. No, I would be at UPHA. You like you'll need to hear about Madam, because I feel like easily as in that vein with with those books of you. Thank you. Oh, it's very true. It's the first thing. I actually I'd only watch Rebecca when I read Madam. And I read Madam I was like I need more like Gothic women and I started reading Rebecca after I read Madam because I wanted more of that. That's wonderful. I loved it. I loved it, I did. I loved it. I absolutely loved it. I saw it was so dark and twisted and that's my that's my job. I like you wouldn't dis us a bit weird. So we've got us for amazing women are in this cozy pub. Have you got anybody else coming? Well be I've got to like a plas here, which is optional. We can...

...really mad and Jane Austin, so she's pretty everybody. I don't mind if she's there. Are Not, I do. I Love Dane Austin and I think she could add an element of humor, because otherwise I think we're all a bit serious. Yeah, because she writes bat women and I know that. I know I've read that that Charlotte Bronte found her a little bit, what's the word, trivial. Yeah, I can, I can see that. To be fair, you know, pride and prejudice, and I can. I can kind of see why. I see to do but I do Chid. I think I'm not sure they would have had the courage. I think she did a huge thing, yeah, with what she did, you know, writing about ordinary people, and I do love her human I think that would be really fun to have her there too, and I think as well, you have serious books, serious writing, in quotations. You still need those romance novels. Oh Yeah, you know, for everyone who picks up a crime thriller and a true crime like me, or a gothic novel, there's still people who desperately want the romance and the wrong coms and and sometimes both. So I think there's a room for, you know, for Charlotte Bronte and for Jane Austin. I'm probably agree. Yeah, I think it would be they would have read her books as well as that would have been really fun and as I think there's loads in there that you can set I think the way she writes men is really interesting. Some of them are really vulnerable. Yeah, yeah, I definitely agree. And you want to finally, interesting. One of my other guests, Charlie, who's the book boy on Instagram, made a really good point that he would invite he didn't write spot for Junia Wolf and as some other writers that they were writing about a time they actually lived in. So as we read it now in modern day, they actually lived those experiences. Yeah, Whi should be incredible to get to talk to Jane Austin about, you know, the balls that she attended in Bath and actually, yeah, yeah, kind of thing. One thing I find fascinating as well as none of them were in love. Yeah, when they wrote they were all, I suppose, versions they like. I think it's incredible that Jan often has written five novels with different kinds of love and she never felt I mean I think she supposedly did. I shouldn't not real sure about that, but she was never married. Yeah, I've got the I've got it. There's a series called little people, big dreams for children and they do it about such a wide range. There's Mary Shelley and, I guessed, Christie and and it's based on little biographies of these people. My son's got Rue Paul and David Astamboro and Elton Joel. They're fantastic. I'm my little girl has got a Jane Austin One and in there it does say that she fell in love with somebody, but he he basically proposed to a woman from a better family, essentially an heiress who had more money, and that after that, that's when she decided she was going to write romances with a different ending where you know, the smart Brady girl gets the man at the end, not just kind of the frosty airess. So I think a lot of her heartbreak was channeled into these stories to basically give her heroines a different ending. That's amazing, isn't it? And I think and for someone like emily run tater right, he could living cathy and all that like Ang extant ru it's like wow, and she never had a suit and they probably lived quite isolated right where they were. They probably didn't have a whole lot of of romance opportunities. I wouldn't have thought really. Yeah, yeah, I mean supposedly. I think Mr Rogster was based on someone, but for someone I emily and add they didn't they didn't travel, did they like shall fold my history of bit dodgy, but I don't think that's incredible. That you could write. Those women write that stuff incredible. And I've got a friend WHO's she's again a bookstagramma. She's utterly bookish and she is like the quintessential found of knowledge for the bronze. So I'm sure if I was to ask her tell me what did it what we love? Did they do this, she would absolutely know. But I do think that they clearly wrote experiences they hadn't necessarily experienced themselves in any way, and that's incredible. I think that's what we're both saying, isn't it? Yeah, so it's like the the way that they can express human emotion not live through it, having not lived the lives that sort of the things that we're exposed to...

...today regularly. I just think that's it's incredible, an incredible brain and stand the test of time. I mean, I don't know how many books from this period will be read. You know, decades on. You have to hope, you know, your book will you'll get it read and they'll be people in fifty, sixty, seventy years time. You think about the how long these books live for and how relatable they still are even now. Amazing. I just think. You know, Bridgeton wouldn't exist if it weren't for Jane austen and things like that, and no way I complete you out. I would love to sit with these women and explain to them. I wonder if any of them like you. Just have to say that they've made adaptations of all of your work. All of your books are on screen or plays or, you know, have had fan fiction written about them. Mad they would believe it. Didn't think it'd be very commusing for her day. You know it's bad. So you've got a wonderful, wonderful gathering of incredible female writers. Do you have anybody who you really don't want to show up to our little quaint pub? Yeah, I think so. This is a really nice number day thinks. I think keep it low. I think it's nice. It's intimate. I'm feeling the intimacy of the crackling fire and the conversation and the good food and drink. Yeah, and I think freedom as well to speak in a part, but their DADS maps. No one's DAD's UPSTIR. I'll just be polishing the glasses behind the bar and eaves dropping at all. You'll be in the fray. And I think, and I think, I think in terms of WHO's not that I in my head. I was thinking, you know, no men, because then you the women are silence, those women from those their parts of time, like they will not speak. They're true, not as yeah, not as freely, I think. And the other, because I was in my head, I had wondered whether I would invite because I also loved him as hardy, but he's a man and so no, not here. Not that he's expressly not invited, but he was on my maybe list. If he was to knock on the door, we wouldn't turn him away from the gathering if he happened to be passing. I have not I grew up literally in hardy country. I literally my birthplace was Dorchester, so I lived, was lived right by Max Gate. I lived in in B report, which is, I think, as he called it, port bredy in his books, and I basically grew up around there and I think I've read a grand total of two of his books. So I have work to do. I mean doing what. I went there as like an rnage. I went to the Cam Oh my goodness, I forgot what it is called, that beautiful durdle door. Durdle door is stunning, isn't it? It's beautiful. It's Max Gate and then the little cottage he grew up. It's such a doubt. When I as well, I remember going as a kid and because it was Thomas Hardy's house, I imagine something big, and it's this tiny little cottage, isn't it? And it is literally just in the woods. You would never know it was there. That's what I also think is amazing that I just think he sat there and in his little sorry didn't a few Nar is an hour outside the window and one of the trees. It's it improved. He he sat there and he was like, you know, his not wealthy at all and he was like I must ride far from the madding crowd and it's such a sweet store and it is such an amazingly romantic store and it's really slightly slightly feminist, not feminism was older of the suffragets later and it's like, I don't think I love and he wasn't any wrote it as a cereal and it worked and everybody really loved it and then he went on to write a corse test and judicial, I mean test is so it's so explosive for the time. The things he covered in that as a man writing that about a woman, yes, been so shocking. So I think if he was to, you know, happen upon our Yorkshire Pub I think she do okay with our group of women. I think he'd sort of bow down to Charlotte and Emily and Anne. Didn't know. It feels bad Jay, but he'd be really excited to be...

...there. I think. Yeah, I think so. I think any like that whole. What I quite like is that they're all slightly shunned. Yeah, yeah, they're all kind of a bit, you know, outcasts of society a little bit. They were kind of the you know, like a test wasn't allowed to be published in the UK and then the US so that they were published it. And then because apparently a woman who had, even though she's been really like a woman who in the committed buildry or that, they that because he gives her a kind ending. They were like it's against the church. So falling they were like no, she must be punished in this novel and it's like no, she was punished from the beginning for existence. And then the American publishers, same as mine, actually, McMillan, published it in the US so that the UK had to publish it. I did not know that. That's so. I didn't know that either. But, but, but I love the idea because by then he's an established author and there were people visiting Max Gate. But I loved Lader of him in that farmhouse writing, far from madding crowd about these totally alone, just surrounded by it is really surrounded by the woods, isn't it? It's completely and not writing anything. It's not amly match. There was adorable story. Yeah, I do. I that's what I need to read. I think I've watched they filmed an adaptation. They're quite recently, didn't? They write in the in the midst of it that I really enjoyed, so I need to read it. That's I thought it was great. Yeah, and it was. It was such a big deal for people who live in those areas. The fact that they were filming it there on location, in the places where it was set was incredible. Yeah, yeah, it was. It was as he imagined it. Essentially, it was in the places that he literally pictured in this head. So I was living in Paris at the time, as teaching in Paris, when that film came out and I was like really, so homesick and from Brighton. So I'm not from but the coast. Stuff was just incredible. You know, you said I lived in Paris and I was like sick with jealousy. I was like, oh, that's lovely. I want to live in Paris. I don't want to teach and to be rich in Paris. You always want to just come home. Trust me, I'd give it a good go. To be fair, I to try it for a little while. Okay, so we're going to say Thomas Hardy is allowed if he happens upon the group, but ideally know men. Yeah, I think that's fair. And there is anyone else who you don't want there or you just going to sound kind of just just privacy? Yeah, I don't block anyone, I guess. No. Yeah, I like. Okay, and to be fair, PUP doors have locks on them, so we'll just lock in. That's what we'll do. Well, they'll lock in with these ladies. Will Stoke the fire and we'll get cozy and chat and I love it. I love your reasons for having them there. And you know what, having read Madam and I'm so excited for the ruins, I can see why, maybe with the exception of Jane, but still she's amazing. So, but I can see why you've chosen these women completely. I love it. And whenever someone comes on, before they go, I always ask them what are they reading at the moments? Do you have a current read and they're writing? So No, I do actually working like sounds crazy, but I've been working hard, trying hard to read more contemporary stuff. Okay, because I tend to like just go back and re read. You know, Jane are again. So I'm reading two books at the same time. I'm reading stacy halls, Mrs England, such a good book. I really like it. Yeah, well, I'm quite early in. Yeah, it's it's a real love story. She's got such a beautiful way of writing. I think that's really lovely and get lost in it. And then, and I'm really intrigued at the moment as what's going on with Mrs England. That's what's going on. And then I'm also reading Lucy Foley the guest list. Oh, how far into that are you? Quite early on. I've read the Hunting Party and I really like to have pacy. It was. Sometimes it's good to read that sort of thing, like thrillery Pacey. I do find thrillers are really good, almost like palate cleanses in some ways. If I've read a lot like historical fictional an sy they're quite good to like.

Yeah, you can get through thriller. You know good thriller that's written well. You can really get through quickly. I think is and a wedding. Yeah, I've had such good things, such good things about her books, Paris apartment, but I thought I should read her first read through it. Yeah, I'm a bit like that. Always for bad if I'd buy someone's like new book and I've not read like their back list, I might get actually back and read a few more of them, like older books. But I'm just about to read by led Harper. I'm about to read the House with the Golden Door. I'm so excited for so that will be a lot of fun. And then obviously the ruins I have pre ordered. So thank you. When it comes in July. I'm very excited to read it. I'm intrigued by the idea of a gothic novel set some I mean, Rebecca was set somewhere hot to begin with, isn't it? When? Now I'm gonna what you think. Yeah, she shall, I shall. They'll be a reviewer. Once I've read it, there'll be a review. I'm sure I'M gonna love it. I loved, madam the decay. You know, as I say, they have the sales twenty years later and that mass. That gives me manly vibes again, though, the idea of going back to somewhere that's in ruin. It's full of all these memories for you and you realize it's just a it's just a house. Yeah, it's really fun to do that. Yeah, I do. Yeah, I do write. I'm writing something at the moment, looking on a novel at the moment. is also kind of Gothic, but it's more sort of a gothic historical fantasy. So I've got a bit more magic going on beside you, like a bit sort of which he which he kind of thinks going on. Yeah, yes, I actually spoke with Lucy Holland. Her episode, I think, will be out next week or the week after when this comes out. But yeah, I spoke with her. I Love Sister Song. I loved how it's so beautiful and it brings magic in in such a real way. We felt like you were there. It was so creepy. I loved how. Yeah, it was great. Yes, so I've definitely got I definitely like to write it as magic and whatever I'm writing, because I think I'm a bit of a fantasy nerd at heart, which interrupts you. Is it funny what your habits are, because I think even Lucy Holland wrote this morning on twitter she can't help, but I seem to only be able to write about and yeah, I feel that way about myself too. I'm like, why must I write these things? But it's funny what you're compelled. What does it say about me that I'm writing these really Gothic, dark things, like if the psychiatrist was to look at what I'm writing, what would they say? Oh No, it's very funny. People, you know, my mum's friends or family friends of bread, Madam, and they're likes phoebe. Okay, just what? Why? You know, just like living her you know, dafinitely Damurri a life over here. Just she's fine. Yeah, it's just the kind of book that I would want to read. So if you write what you yeah, what you want to pick up. Yeah, and this is I kind of say. It's like it's like Crimson peak met timber and it's kind of got lots of magic. It's a bit sexy costumes, like yeah, that's it. If ever, if some day, it was ever made into something, yeah, it would have to have really lux costumes. And I joke. But the reason I started writing it it was based on Dream I had about Tom Holland and I had the dream and I was like that's a really good story. So the lead character is actually called Thomas because I couldn't think of anything. But it is to call him and all my friends know and they're like is this written about you and him? I was like she needs to just block that out. That is you mean sine, which is worse because I'm also I'm like, oh, he's like young, and I'm like soult, mother of too. Maybe they'll be that thing we wonder. He'd hear about it in like a fantasy world. He's here. I'm be like he'd be so class. He's also a really good guy, which is so nice. It sounds like a really good guy. She really seems lovely as well. But yeah, he probably be like, oh,...

...okay, cool. So if it ever became cast, I've let my only request is that Tom Holland is in it and I get to meet him. That would be like I could that the whole of my contract if I don't care what you pay me, just to make sure he's in it. I gets like meet him one day for like coffee. I think you, I don't know, have to all you all right, I think he might be this thing. I only fight it too. So, okay, it's like my sister's both of them work in the film industry. So it's my and both of my brothers in and my one of my nephews is an actor. Actually knows very little, and so I met quite a few actors and you they're always tiny. It's really and I'm five foot six. So Yeah, Oh my God, that's that's just because you see them on screen and you have this image. I did think he was probably quite sure, but he's with Zend are, isn't he? And I feel like everyone looks sure next to her because she's glorious. Well, I'm always looking at people and yeah, I'm like, I know you're short, and then you see the one screen and then next time I was shoulder an. You think, how can that be possible? If you got stacked heels on as spider man, like, could he's like a feat you in Cubans? Yeah, I just but I think it's like a thing, isn't it? Like I don't know, I think it's a kind of an actuathing might be an actory thing. Thank the like Michael Fastbender, he's very he's short of the million. It's Michael is short. That's what I mean. You wouldn't expect it, would you know? I feel like the fantasies wouldn't hit quite as hard if, in your heads, when they're like striding towards your sexy, if they got close to you realize they were like you're eye. Yeah, when an actors tall, you know that all, like you know. We know that Tom hudleston is tall, for example. Yes, yea like Steve, a merchant. You know he's giant. I've met him actually. He was so nice I tried to persuade him to so can you do more extra? Did you see extra? Yeah, I was like I just love that. So it's can you do more of that, please? He's like, Oh, nothing, the pipeline at the moment. I was like please, yeah, but I'm asking you, so please did it. Oh my goodness, he is someone who I just think he's Hilarious, probably in my wife. I'd love to go fack a point with it. It's actually like you're gentle than you expect. That calm, but in a really nice way, like I'm just ooka. But he was very calm, very wonderful and yeah, but the tallest, most beautiful actor I've ever met. It is, though, is Chris Hemsworth. What? When? Why? How? Tell me everything. I I sister's husband when my sister's a little of me. He is a DP, he's a cinematographer and he makes a lot of the marble movies and so when my nephews were little we went a lot to visit visit the set. So we've met all of them. I met for and and he was actually wearing his but I mean I didn't. He shook our hands and I didn't actually speak because I didn't know what to say. That was cool, and he was saying to the boys. He was like you want to have a go with the Hammer. That those different hammers, the different weights, and he was so sweet, he was so nice. They all every time you meet someone, but I always send up saying really something, really stupid. So my brain was like you cut, because obviously my siblings are ridiculously calm and cool. Talk about the work, but it's not. Yeah, they're like this is normal, they're just people. For my brother or been, he's he's like they're the artist. I'm I've got my role, they've got their role, and I'm like so I can never, you know, I can never be cooled. Like when I met Michael Paspender, it was a party and I told him that you should have won the Oscar and my sister pushed me. She was like it's like that's all today. Also smell really good, because I feel like they'd have always smells amazing and like that is like thing with them all. Feel like they must smell like expensive. You know, it's not even that. It's like good skinned teeth, you know, they're really well looked after, really well broomed. So it's just a different kinds of human, you know, literally, like I really love my husband, I really do, but I feel like these men were created like a laboratory somewhere, like like, where do these men come from?...

Yeah, because there's so not living in Torbay. Is that what you are talk that's why. Yeah, it's a way. Isn't full of Christen's words? I'm you know, isn't it? I don't know. I kind of agree with you. There's like some lab somewhere that's literally producing these ridiculously attractive men for this purpose. What's The guy? What's The guy's name? That lovely, Gorgeous Irish actor that was fifty shades of great. Oh, Jamie Dawnan. So one of my great friends. Grew up with him in Belfast, and I'm like Jamie. She's like it's just Jamie, and I'm like he's gorgeous. You know, she can't see it. I don't find the now you told me that you meet hot actors. I'm going to try to befriend you. That's it. Now we're officially friends, but I never have come across cool. I've never been cooled back. If it makes you feel better, though, if I was to come with you, you would immediately look cooler. Well, I see. Okay, amazing, because I'd be such a shade of Red, my whole head would go red. I might even cry. So you'd be absolute really cool next to me when I'm sobbing. That's so funny I don't even believe really, and I like it. She's like my tops, like frising, like Robert Pattinson. Yeah, but he's lovely. I don't think he's short. He doesn't look short. Know, he looks tall. See, I think he's definitely taller than me. I think Tom Holland's probably about the same height as me, which would be understants appointing. Yeah, little bit sad. I think Chris Evans is definitely tall. I'd say. I say he's quite tall. No, I think he is. Yeah, but like Robert Danney JR, super short. He has to win heels, like he'led shoes. Did you meet him as well? Yes, yes, yeah, he's funny. Yeah, I don't know. I mean I'M gonna I'M NOT gonna lie and say I don't really want your life. You're hanging out in the south of France, right, and you're in credit while sinking novels may all these sexy Hollywood man. I'm like that at all. It's a month here or week here. It's never it's never long, like the longevity, and it's like, if anything, I'm most with you and makes you feel like, feel, feel your own insignificance. I think you get like a little taste, as I like get a little moment of like yeah, there's nothing worse than when you're walking down a red carpet and all the cameras turn to you and they go, hmm, we don't know, like to try'd like that disappointment just when I'm here, like picking up my kids toys and day clothes. I'll take it. I'll take it one time. Want to recover a bit. I'll be the disappointment just one time. Yes, bus, it's quite funny you and now, Oh, I love it, and this is taken sun a should ad expected turn. And what I basically want to do is just get a list of, like, all the men you've met and how tall they actually are. We to say like a tall, tall, short, short. Just try to time now. Tell you what you're going to notice. Now you'll see them on TV and you think, Oh my God, she's right, Oh my God, look at that, look at that person, and that I'm noticing. You'll be noticing now people's hight. I'm going to take my whole past top ten. This to be like the no, no, it would just be the two Chris's left on there and Robert Pattinson. Am I have to fight you for Chris Evans because he's not married, as he so he's a very no, he's gloriously single, and the thing is he's just waiting to meet a thirty one year old mother of two that lives in Devon. There you go, he just doesn't know it yet. Well, I mean he doesn't, especially if you're good to tell him that you're to pirate weekends. Yeah, I do love a pirate. What can I say? He's getting fuzzier and cuter by the day. It's like, Oh my God, I don't know how to how to you. How would you be here? Well, if you didn't meet him in the marble thing. No, he was there. Wasn't a day I would just have hung around. I don't know. I'm going to stay then, I am. Honestly, this has been so much fun and it's completely yeah, it's completely taken the turn I did not expect, but thank you so much. You are over on Instagram, aren't you? Since is out in July. So congratulations in advance. I cannot wait to read it. And it wasn't that long ago the paper...

...back of Madam came out as well, didn't it? No, not at all. Yeah, it was amazing and I was in England for that and it was really fun to go around the bookshops and do some signings and stuff. That was Super Fun. I love it. I love and you'll be doing some signings this time of the ruins, I guess as well. Now I will be in England, yeah, for all of that time and I hope we can have some events because now, obviously when Madam came out there were no events at all. As be really fun to get some sure, and if you happen to do any in the southwest of England, I will try and I will try and come along. Yeah, amazing. I'd love that. Thank you so so much again.

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