Trillium Book Awards Author Reading 2015

The WAR Series: Writers as Readers, with Paula Daly

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Paula Daly

Paula Daly is the author of Keep Your Friends Close (Doubleday Canada). In the novel, Natty Wainwright's daughter collapses while travelling in France, sending Natty flying off to France to retrieve her. Natty leaves her best friend, Eve, at home with her husband, Sean, to hold down the fort. Imagine her surprise when she returns two weeks later to find that Sean, her devoted husband, has fallen in love with Eve. Natty is devastated, but her feelings become more complex when she receives a note advising that this is not Eve's first time snatching someone else's life... and that Natty's life may in fact be what is in danger.

Paula joins us today on Open Book to tackle the WAR (Writers as Readers) series, where authors share with us about the books that have influenced and touched them throughout their lives. Paula talks about the book that got her hooked on suspense, the best time to read Russian novels and the book that would have saved her a lot of grief if she'd read it earlier.

The WAR Series, Writers as Readers

The first book I remember reading on my own:
George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl.

A book that made me cry:
Watership Down by Richard Adams

The first adult book I read:
Bloodline by Sidney Sheldon (My sister gave me this to read when I was ten and I became hooked on suspense).

A book that made me laugh out loud:
Where’d You Go Bernadette? by Maria Semple. How to be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson.

The book I have re-read many times:
One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson — I love each and every character in this book.

A book I feel like I should have read, but haven't:
Anna Karenina. I’ve been told by many that it’s right up my street, but I think if you haven’t read the Russian novelists as a teenager — when you have nothing to do but lounge around for days on end — then you’re probably not going get around to it until much later in life.

The book I would give my seventeen year old self, if I could:
How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie. I started worrying when I first had children at the age twenty-three, and didn’t find this book until I was twenty-nine. I could have saved myself a lot of unnecessary nonsense had I come across it sooner.

A book I feel strongly influenced me as a writer and why:
The Big Picture by Douglas Kennedy. This book has everything — suspense, great settings, good characters, lovely twists. When I started writing I knew that this was the type of book I wanted to write.

The best book I read in the past six months:
The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty.

Paula Daly lives in Cumbria, England, with her husband, three children and whippet Skippy. She is a freelance physiotherapist and lived for a short while in France but returned to the UK after missing the hustle and bustle. Just What Kind of Mother Are You? was her first novel. Paula is currently working on another novel, The Day Before You Came.

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