On this quiet Sunday morning why don't you put the kettle on, make your favourite breakfast and settle down for Sunday Brunch with Jaffareadstoo
🍴I'm delighted to welcome Roz Morris to our Sunday Brunch today🍴
🍴What favourite food are you bringing to Sunday brunch?
Taramasalata. I first encountered it when I moved to London to start college. In Cheshire where I grew up, Greek dips were regarded as uncivilised - if you even saw them at all. Suddenly, in London, here was this stuff, invitingly gloopy, intriguingly savoury. And strongly pink. It marked the start of an exciting, exotic, cosmopolitan kind of life. It's still my go-to comfort food, or one of them.
🍴Would you like a pot of English breakfast tea, a strong Americano, or a glass of Bucks Fizz?
May I be awkward and ask for a latte? And please could the coffee be dark and chocolatey, and the milk a swirly dense foam on top? I know coffee purists disapprove, but I love the lactic sweetness with dark roasted beans.
🍴Where shall we eat brunch – around the kitchen table, in the formal dining room, or outside on the patio?
In your kitchen or your dining room! After so long in lockdown, I want to see your world. Your cherished pictures, your wedding-present chinaware, the oddities you keep because they’re special. I want to ask you what they mean and why they matter to you.
🍴Shall we have music playing in the background? And if so will you share with us a favourite song or piece of music that makes you happy?
I’m going to be a killjoy here. No music! It hijacks my brain. If I can hear music, I’ll listen to that instead of you. But once we’ve settled after the torpor of pudding and cheese, let’s have something epic and old, like John Miles’s Music.
🍴Which of your literary heroes (dead or alive) are joining us for Sunday Brunch today?
A huge list. Graham Greene, Nevil Shute, William Somerset Maugham. But I don’t know that I’d want to meet them. They’re obviously very private and sensitive; at their best on the page. They probably, in real life, wouldn’t want to give such intimate and frank contact with their mind as they’ll give you in their books.
🍴When you are writing do you still find time to read for pleasure?
I do! My bedtime reading is always something chosen ‘for me’, My husband is also a writer and he saw I was drowning in books I had to read for research, or to review, or to keep up with what’s being published. He said: ‘Always have a book you’re reading just for you, or you’ll lose your joy in it’.
🍴What’s the oldest book on your book shelf?
A red, cloth-bound hardback of Memoirs of a Foxhunting Man by Siegfried Sassoon. It has no copyright date, but a sticker in the front says it was in a school library in September 1959. Another label says it was printed on ‘war economy paper’. The pages are yellowed. There is another name written in the back in pencil. It’s a book that has seen many travels and I love that. I also love the book itself. I named a place in my novel Lifeform Three after a character in this book.
🍴Where do you find the inspiration for your novels?
I’m always misunderstanding things and deciding I prefer the misunderstood version. I frequently misunderstand the plots of films, thinking they’re going one way when they’re going another, and that gets me thinking.
🍴Have you a favourite place to settle down to write?
I love my study. It’s a tiny box-bedroom and the desk is an enormous old dining table. I painted the walls a minky lilac, and painted the table to match. The table has history - my mother-in-law’s neighbour had it in their house. I like to imagine the scenes it’s seen as the centre of someone’s home.
🍴When writing to a deadline are you easily distracted and if so how do you bring back focus on your writing?
You remember I said music hijacks my brain? I make soundtracks for my books and use them to help me focus. Instant concentration.
🍴Give us four essential items that a writer absolutely needs?
Patience, an eye for the fall of a sentence, curiosity about the less travelled path, an interest in the why.
🍴What can you tell us about your latest novel or your current work in progress?
My latest novel is a story of mountains, music and profound mourning. It’s called Ever Rest.
|June 3rd 2021|
Twenty years ago, Hugo and Ash were on top of the world. As the acclaimed rock band Ashbirds they were poised for superstardom. Then Ash went missing in a mountaineering accident, and the lives of Hugo and everyone around him were changed forever. Now, where the irrepressible, infuriating, mesmerizing Ash had been was a hole they could never hope to fill.
Two decades on, Ash’s fiancée Elza is still struggling to move on, her private grief outshone by the glare of publicity. The loss of such a rock icon is a worldwide tragedy. Hugo is now a recluse in Nepal, shunning his old life. Robert, an ambitious session player, feels himself both blessed and cursed by his brief time with Ashbirds, unable to achieve recognition in his own right.
While the Ashbirds legend burns brighter than ever, Elza, Hugo and Robert are as stranded as if they were the ones lost in the ice. How far must they go to come back to life?
Roz, where can we follow you on social media?
More about Roz
Roz Morris writes fiction and essays about unconventional ways we can be haunted and how we seek people and places we belong with. Her work has been profiled by The Guardian, Literature Works, the Potomac Review, Foreword Reviews, Rain Taxi and BBC Radio.
Her fiction has sold more than 4 million copies worldwide, although you won't have seen her name on the covers - she began her career in secret, ghostwriting fiction for big-name authors.
Now she's coming out of the shadows. Her own novels have been described as 'profound tales and compelling page-turners', with fine-honed language, unforgettable characters, and gripping, unusual storylines. Plaudits include a top-ranked title in the American Library Journal programme, a longlisting for an international award alongside Neil Gaiman and a finalist position in the People's Book Prize 2017.
She is also a fiction editor and writing coach. She teaches creative writing masterclasses for The Guardian newspaper in London, based on her series for writers, Nail Your Novel.
If you want to get to know her a little better, drop in at www.rozmorris.wordpress.com and her blog www.nailyournovel.com - or sign up for her newsletter
about creative life . Her latest novel, Ever Rest, releases on 3 June 2021.
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