marisa mackle
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Internationally best-selling author Marisa Mackle is one of the sharpest and most readable women's writers around. Her new hilarious novel, Chinese Whispers, sees her on splendid form. Here, the glamorous Dubliner - and former air-hostess - talks about her favourite writers, and the realities of the novelist's life.

What inspires you to write?
Well the wolf at the door is a great inspiration because he’s always hungry and doesn’t let me lie in on mornings.

Do you have a writing routine? If so, what is it?
I try to write in the mornings because in the afternoons I get a bit lazy. I try to write every day even if I’ve got a bit of a hangover. I treat it like an office job but I don’t work office hours because sometimes I’m still writing at midnight!

Has your life changed since you became a novelist?
Yes, definitely. I don’t have to set my alarm anymore and stand at the bus stop in the rain. I get invited to a lot of great parties and meet lots of celebrities like Ethan Hawke, Candace Bushnell, Samantha Mumba, Cecilia Ahern, Cathy Kelly and Alex Best. In fact Alex recently launched my last book Chinese Whispers. Her own book Always Alex is out now and it’s a fantastic read!

Who is your all-time favourite author?
Well Marian Keyes is top class. I also really like Shari Low, Sarah Ball, Cathy Kelly, Claudia Carroll, Jenny Colgan and Chris Manby.

What are you reading at the moment?
I am reading a book called Written in the Stars by Sarah Ball. It’s excellent. I also loved The Make-up Girl by Andrea Semple. The heroine in the book reminded me so much of me. A Sophie Kinsella book is always a treat!

What's the biggest myth about being a writer?
It must be that we are all millionaires that lie in bed all day waiting for the muse to strike, that we are all intellectuals and that we happen to have more time to spare than anybody else. People always say to me ‘I’d write a book if I had time.’ Well God doesn’t give me any more than 24 hours a day any more than He gives it to anybody else!

What advice would you give budding authors?
I would tell them to never give up. It is hard to get a foot in the door and the industry is very competitive at the moment but there is no greater joy than to walk into a bookshop and see your book on the shelf.

What can readers expect from you in the future?
Well, my new book Man Hunt will be out next summer. In the meantime I am putting together a compilation of short stories from some of Ireland and Britain’s best loved writers. It’s called Party Animal and includes novelists such as Marian Keyes, Collette Caddle, Sarah Ball and Cathy Kelly, and will be published at the end of November.
All the proceeds of the book will go to animal charities.