Charlotte grew up surrounded by books.
“Grandad was an antiquarian bookseller, selling the rarest books, and there were about 3,000 books in my parent’s house.”
At 12, she finished a novel.
“I typed it out on my electric typewriter, and sent it to Penguin. They got back to me and said, ‘perhaps you would like to read this to your class at school.’”
She didn’t try writing another novel until she was 24. By that time she was working as a magazine journalist on interior magazines.
“I loved it. It was the heyday of magazines, before there were limited budgets, and publications shutting down.”
She then went freelance, also working on websites, marketing and brands.
Who is Charlotte Duckworth
Date of birth: 1981, in Surrey.
Education: A convent school in Cobham. Leeds University, Classics. Post Grad in a London college; Magazine journalism.
Home: Surrey. “We moved out of London in 2016.”
Family: Partner Oli, an actor. And a daughter, Daphne, 3.
The Day Job: Freelance writer, editor, copyeditor, content writer on the marketing side.
In Another Life: “I’d be a murder detective. I love investigating, and finding things out.”
Favourite Writers: Daphne Du Maurier; Maggie O’Farrell; Graham Greene; Araminta Hall; Gillian McAllister; Liz Nugent.
Second Novel: “It’s about Instagram Mums, and it will be out next summer. I finished it before the debut came out. I’m finishing the first draft of my third.”
Top Tip: “Protect your writing time at all costs.”
Website: www.charlotteduckworth.com Twitter: @charduck
The Debut: The Rival. Quercus: €16.68. Kindle: €1.98
Once a high-flying executive, Helena is now stuck in the countryside mourning the loss of her baby. Meanwhile, her job has been highjacked by Ashley, a colleague whose ambition she once admired. Is Ashley really to blame for all her ills? Told in two time frames, this novel shows how easily colleagues can become rivals.
“I wanted to write about the shock of motherhood after careers. Nobody ever talked to me about being a parent; we value people who are ambitious for their careers, but not those who look after the young and the old. Women need to support each other and not be competitive.”
The Verdict: A clever psychological tale with some brilliant, yet believable twists. I loved it.
Publisher in The Irish Examiner on 22nd December.
© Sue Leonard. 2018.