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My First Time...with Helen McClory

Helen McClory hails from Edinburgh and grew up in between there and the Isle of Skye. Helen describes herself as having a moor and a cold sea in her heart...

Tell us about your book...

Flesh of the Peach is an intense journey into and out of rage and grief, via sex and violence. A young woman takes a road trip from New York to the high New Mexico desert as her life, desires and memories spiral out from her control.

Describe the exact moment you decided to write your book?

It was some time while I was living in the states back in 2010 – I was trying and failing to be an American, and I had an image in my head of a greenhouse made of bottles. That’s where I started. The greenhouse remains in the books, the bottles are present in other ways.

What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before starting to write your first book?

You can and will finish this.

What’s your go-to procrastination method?

Twitter! I’m there all the time because you can chat with other writers, pivot off and read interesting bookish articles (or aggravating news) and it sort of feels like research and gossip at once.

What was the biggest tantrum you had while writing it?

Not so much a tantrum as a bright afternoon of the soul: The point where I first realised it needed totally rewriting and restructuring, which I eventually decided required a trip out to New Mexico by bus so I could really get to grips with the setting. A book with no sense of place can sometimes float and get out of reach, and I had to stop that from happening.

Best thing about writing your book?