Interview by Claire Coughlan
Here at Novelicious, we’re big Maggie O’Farrell fans. So we were thrilled when it was recently announced that her sixth novel, Instructions for a Heatwave – just released in paperback – has been included on Richard and Judy’s autumn book club list. Set during the infamous heatwave of 1976, it unravels a family secret belonging to the Riordans, an Irish family living in London. But that doesn’t even do it justice, so you’ll just have to trust us and read it.
Maggie O’Farrell was born in Coleraine, in Northern Ireland, in 1972, and grew up in Wales and Scotland. She now lives in Edinburgh with her husband, fellow author William Sutcliffe, and their three children. Maggie worked as a journalist before she went on to become a Costa Prize winning author, and was previously deputy literary editor for the Independent on Sunday. When her first novel, After You’d Gone, was published in 2000, she left full time journalism to go freelance and focus on her fiction. She credits an Arvon course with helping her find an agent, Alexandra Pringle (now a publisher), who was then an agent with Toby Eady Associates. Maggie is now represented by Victoria Hobbs of AM Heath (who was Alexandra Pringle’s assistant at Toby Eady) and her publishers are the newly launched imprint of Headline, Tinder Press.