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My First Time...with Molly Flatt

Molly Flatt, The Riff Raff

Molly Flatt is an author and journalist who writes about the way technology changes the way we think, work and live. She is the Associate Editor for FutureBook and Digital Editor for PHOENIX magazine and she lives in Hackney with her husband and two-year-old daughter, but spends as much time as possible in the countryside, ignoring her phone and making stuff up.

Molly will be reading from her fantastic debut novel, The Charmed Life Of Alex Moore at The Riff Raff on Thursday 9th August and she is not to be missed...

Here's the blurb for The Charmed Life of Alex Moore...

"How would you feel if everything in your life suddenly started to go . . . right? Six months ago, Alex Moore was stuck in a dead-end job, feeling her potential quietly slip away. Then, seemingly overnight, she launched her dream start-up and became one of London's fastest rising tech stars. At thirty-one, her life has just begun. But Alex’s transformation isn’t easy for those around her. Her friends are struggling to accept her rapid success, her parents worry she’s burning out and her fiancé is getting cold feet.

Then weird things start to happen. Muggings, stalkers – even a wild claim that she murdered a stranger. But when Alex visits the Orkney Islands to recharge, weird turns into WTF. Because there she discovers the world’s oldest secret – and it’s a secret that Alex’s stratospheric rise has royally messed up."

Describe the exact moment you decided to write your book? I’ve had the idea for decades, and written versions of bits of it for as long as I can remember. The turning point, however, was seven years ago - when I decided that I was going to commit to this one idea and finish writing the story, no matter what. I’d just got married and my career was going really well, but consulting inside tech corporations wasn’t fulfilling either my creativity or my soul. I didn’t imagine this story would ever get published. I just wanted to write it and edit it until I had it out of my system, in a form I was vaguely happy with. Otherwise I suspected it might drive me insane. NOT finally getting the damn thing out was a more painful thought than the years of work ahead.

The Charmed Life of Alex Moore, The Riff Raff

What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before starting to write it? Planning really helps. Ditto actually knowing what your book is about. What’s your go-to procrastination method? Emails. I love a good email rabbit hole.

Any tantrums while writing it? Pretty much every day. My poor family. I got into endless plot snarls, and at times I genuinely thought I had invented an unwriteable book (anyone who has read it can imagine what a mindfuck creating the Library was). There was one moment when I was sitting in front of the computer at nine months pregnant, wobbling on a birthing ball, deleting and replacing this particular adjective on repeat. My husband actually bellowed, ‘STEP AWAY FROM THE SCREEN.’

Best thing about writing your book? Letting my imagination off the leash.

And the worst?

The self-doubt.

Go-to writing snacks? 90% dark chocolate.

Who or what inspires you to write? The authors who have made my life more rich and wonderful and bearable than it would have ever been without their books. Dorothy Dunnett, Philip Pullman, Neil Gaiman, Seamus Heaney, William Gibson, Rose Tremain, Rosemary Sutcliffe … I could go on.

The book that changed you? Every book I read changes me.

Your pump up song? Aloe Blacc’s Wake Me Up

If you could share a bottle of wine with one writer, who would it be? JK. What a brilliant writer and woman.

One piece of advice you’d give first time writers hoping to get published? Just. Keep. Going.

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