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SJ Watson - the dark novelist


On Tuesday, 10th October, I had the opportunity to sit down with renowned author SJ Watson, the man who wrote the novels ‘ Before I Go to Sleep’ and 'Second Life’, before he gave a Career Pathways lecture.

My first question was to ask why he wrote such dark novels. He replied that he didn’t realise that they were going to be so dark until he wrote them. He also said that he was drawn to novels where people aren’t pleasant to each other.

While discussing the modern debate of Kindles versus physical books, he said that he prefers physical books as he enjoys how the book changes its shape after each page has been read. Also, he sometimes uses paper mementos and ticket stubs as bookmarks, which can remind him of fun memories. His favourite novel changes regularly, but at the moment it is Margaret Attwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’. He’d like his autobiography to be titled 'Making the dog talk' , containing a collection of short stories rather than a series of essays or the traditional use of chapters

As for his writing process, he has no particular rituals, but if things aren’t going well he will move locations to coffee shops, art galleries or libraries, which is one of the reasons he likes living in London. Finally, the book he has read again and again is 'Perfume' by Patrick Süskind, but he regularly reads books twice if he likes the writing style so he can use it as inspiration for his own novels.

Posted: 20/12/2017 at 09:41
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