To celebrate the publication of Tinder, a dark and gothic fairy tale from our sister imprint Indigo, we have an exclusive interview with Sally Gardner. Tinder is the story of a young soldier, a captive princess, witches, wolves and Death (yes, that death with a capital D). Lavish, beautiful, and terrifying Tinder features illustrations from David Roberts.
Fairy tales are often the cruellest stories of all . . .
Q: If you could have one “writerly” super power what would it be?
A: The ability to time-travel – as long as I was invisible. It would be so useful when researching a particular period of history to see how people really lived, what they wore and how they spoke. But I would have to be certain that I’d be able to return to the 21st century as I couldn’t do without hot running water or my computer.
Q: Do you have any specific writing rituals or places that you like to write?
A: I write on a 1940s desk which I was told was once in the offices of the Ministry of War. It’s heavy and solid and was designed so that whoever was working at it could shelter underneath it during an air raid rather than run down to the air raid shelter. I love the drumming noise it makes when I’m typing – to me it’s the sound of a chapter going well.
Q: What is the last book you read that you couldn’t put down?
A: All the Truth That’s in Me by Julie Berry. The language is beautiful and it has a fairy tale quality to it. It’s a love story and a murder-mystery. I’m usually pretty good at cracking plots but the identity of the murderer eluded me until the end.
Q: What is your current favourite TV series?
A: I never seem to be able to watch every episode of a TV series to the end. I bought a boxed set of the The Sopranos and really enjoyed the first two episodes, but then my daughter ‘borrowed’ it and she has yet to give it back.
Q: If you could be any character from a fairy tale – who/what would they be and why?
A: There are very few characters I would like to be but as I have to choose, I’ll go for the Beast in Beauty and the Beast. The Beast is an outsider, but Beauty sees the good in him and her love transforms him. I am always looking forward to being transformed by love.
Tinder is out now where all good books are sold.