A Life in Books with Rosanna Ley


I have an extra A Life in Books this week with Rosanna Ley to celebrate the publication of The Little Theatre by the Sea in paperback on 1 June.  If you missed my review of this charming novel I have included a link at the end of my interview with Rosanna, so lets get started!


Can you tell me a bit about yourself?

I’ve always loved reading and writing and also enjoy tutoring creative writing and life-writing for self-expression and therapy. Now that I am writing a book a year for Quercus and each book requires a lot of research and travelling, I’m spending more of my time doing that, but still love to work with new writers whenever possible.

I like to write about places I find interesting – they have to inspire me on some level, and must have something in their culture/ politics/ history which I can get my teeth into! I also enjoy writing about relationships – family, romantic, whatever – and try to get a bit of mystery into the books too.

For myself I mostly live and work in West Dorset which I love and I enjoy walking the cliffs and beaches near my home and relaxing with a good book!


What was your favourite childhood book?51XYNPR34YL._SX293_BO1,204,203,200_

I loved Enid Blyton’s ‘Secret Seven’ books and devoured them voraciously. I also really enjoyed AA Milne’s ‘When we Were Very Young’ and ‘Now we are Six’ and learnt some of the poems by heart. They must be in my long-term memory because I still know some of them…


What type of books did you read as a teenager?

As a teenager I got into historical fiction especially Jean Plaidy and other writers of that ilk. When I did ‘O’ levels I also discovered DH Lawrence and fell hopelessly in love with his books. That was about the time I got into classics too, like Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. I’m not a mad Dickens fan, but Austen, I still love. I also remember being much affected by Sylvia Plath’s ‘The Bell Jar’ and a few years later I discovered the ‘Liverpool Poets’ e.g. Adrian Henri.


51GWN2QoIRLWhen you were at school what was your favourite book you studied?

Definitely Sons and Lovers by DHL. I also got hooked into John Donne’s poetry.



What is your favourite classic book?

Probably ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen, though I also love ‘Emma’


What would you consider to be one of the best books you have had over the last 5 51A53M8ygwL._SX315_BO1,204,203,200_years?

One of the best books I’ve read? There have been so many. I was very impressed by ‘The Various Flavours of Coffee’ by Anthony Capella. So interesting. I love the way he writes.


What book to you think you should read but never get round to?

Anything by James Joyce. But life is probably too short. And actually I don’t think I ‘should’ read ‘Ulysses’ or anything else really. There’s a lot of literary snobbery around and the label ‘literary’ can sometimes be an excuse for self-indulgence! I think everyone should read what they want to and what they enjoy.


418EF5I2wML._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_What do you consider to be your favourite book ?
Another impossible question! Women in Love by DH Lawrence.



Is there a book that you have started but been unable to finish?

Hundreds. If I get too irritated by bad writing or I’m not sufficiently interested in the story-line, I’ll stop. There’s always so many good books I want to read – who has time to read a bad one?


If you were stranded on a desert Island which 2 books would you want to have with you

Definitely a large collection of poetry as that would last me forever. The other book would be a large notebook so that I could write.


Kindle or Book?
I prefer actual books but do have a Kindle for when I am travelling and need to travel light.

Thank you so much, Juliet!
Rosanna x


The Little Theatre by The Sea is available to buy now.



The Little Theatre by the Sea by Rosanna Ley

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Hi, I am an avid reader and have been all my life. I put it down to being an only child and having a teacher for a mum. The idea of this blog is to share my passion for reading and review new and upcoming books as well as those that may have been out for several years.
I also review on Twitter @Bookliterat

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