Alice Gilmore Interview

What is something you’ve lied about?
I can lie constantly, like all of us, about inconsequential matters just to make the world go round but about important matters I cannot think of anything since I lied to my mother when I was in my early twenties. I have never needed to. On the other hand if we include lies of omission in that then my whole life has been a lie and especially I lied to one person (by omission) many years ago and eventually it came home to roost, which is why I wrote this book when I did. Otherwise I would have waited .

Who is the last person you hugged?
My daughter when she called in earlier today.

What are you reading now?
I have just finished Thomas Keneally’s The Playmaker, which is about a production of The Recruiting Officer by George Farquhar  done by the convicts and soldiers of the first convict fleet to Australia. It is through the eyes of an officer, Lieutenant Ralph Clark, who directed the play, although he isn’t strictly the narrator. I have loved it; though find Keneally hard to read at times. I am going back to one of my beloved Kate Atkinson’s books next.

How do you come up with the titles to your books?
Aaaggh, don’t ask me. I could think of no title for this one except the bald Alice, A Memoir, and now I’m thinking of writing a novel I already know I’m going to be useless when it comes to the title. That is sad for me because sometimes the title is the difference between success and failure for a book – or play or film.

Share your dream cast for your book.
Difficult because my book covers such a wide span of years. But as it’s a dream cast I can dream that Emma Thompson could play my hero, myself. and grow old as she does so. For my mother, also growing old with the character, I would like Vanessa Redgrave and for my husband I would like an English Gregory Peck (well, we are talking about dreams, I think that is just a daydream fulfillment). For Geoff I would choose an English Brad Pitt, also to grow older with the book but starting as he was in Thelma And Louise (ohmygod).

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