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My First Time...with Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas, The Riff Raff

Credit: Emily Bowling

Emily Thomas was born in London, and has lived there most of her life (apart from as a teenager when she lived in Essex, on a boat). Having worked as an editor and publisher since the late 80s, she now works 9-5 in publishing children’s and YA fiction and non-fiction, as well as adult fiction and non-fiction. She currently lives in Brixton and really wants a cat – if you know of one that doesn’t need a garden, get in touch!

Emily will be reading from her debut novel Mud at The Riff Raff on Thursday 12th July...

Get your tickets here >>

Describe the exact moment you decided to write your book?

I was sitting at my desk one lunchtime in 2015 and the first page (of what became MUD) came into my head. I scribbled it down and when I got home later, wrote it up on my laptop. I didn’t know if it was going to be a book then. I just needed to write it down. But then I carried on writing, and the next day and the day after that, so then it became clear that it was turning into a book!

What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before starting to write it?

I wasn’t quite prepared for how emotional the process would make me feel. Mostly in a good way; I felt very close to my central character. But the very personal nature of the content meant that feelings were evoked from long ago and at times I felt very protective of the book, especially during the editing process. I don’t know if I could have done anything about my emotional response, but to know they were coming might have prepared me!

Read more My First Time interviews >>

What’s your go-to procrastination method?

TV – often series like The Bridge or Spiral, but I remember being very aware that my obsession with Nashville was a massive diversion from writing. I cried a lot during Nashville, and I think it was transference (to stop myself from crying during the writing of MUD). Also, food, chocolate, and wine.