A lifelong book lover, Stephanie started writing poetry at University. Studying for a PhD, and needing funds, she secured a job with Lehmann Brothers on a graduate programme.
“But I was headhunted before the bank fell. I went to Liongate, then to GAM.”
After five years in finance, she was offered a Vice President position, but instead, went to Oxford University to study writing.
“My poor father was shouting down the phone when he heard.”
The debut was inspired by a newspaper article.
“I wondered if you could love someone and then kill them.”
Stephanie conducted a great deal of research in Japan, attending a trial, visiting all the book’s locations, looking at wedding venues, and shopping for family tombs.
“I researched and wrote simultaneously. I took time to accumulate knowledge on Japanese Law.”
A prize-winning poet, Stephanie explored all different genres of writing.
“This included radio drama. I like to stretch myself.”
Early drafts of her manuscript won prizes, there were 23 agents interested, and she received a pre-empt offer from America 24 hours after submission. The book has sold to eight language territories.
Who is Stephanie Scott?
Date of birth: Singapore. In 1983.
Education: Benenden in England; York University, English. Cambridge University, M Phil in Renaissance Literature; Oxford University. MA in Creative Writing.
Home: London. “My parents are in Singapore.”
Family: Husband, Tom O’Callaghan.
The Day Job: Fulltime writer
In Another Life: “I’d love to be a ballerina.”
Favourite Writers: Maggie O’Farrell; Donna Tartt; Tolstoy; Matsuo Kirano; Sayaka Mrota; Han Kang; Kazuo Ishiguro.
Second Novel: “It’s inspired by my family’s experience in Asia during the second world war. It’s very much in the early stages.”
Top Tip: Persevere. And believe in your project.
Website: www.stephaniescott author.com Twitter: @Stephaniewscott
The Debut: What’s left of me is yours. W&N: €16.99. Kindle: €5.38.
When Sato wants a divorce, he hires an agent to have an affair with his wife, Rina. When the two fall in love, a series of violent acts ensue. This haunts Rina’s daughter, Sumiko. This sensational debut, told from two alternating viewpoints, asks where we draw the line between passion and possession.
The Verdict: This debut is a triumph! It’s a beautifully paced, spellbinding love story which brilliantly depicts Japan and its people.
Published on 6th June in the Irish Examiner.
© Sue J Leonard. 2020