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The Little Book Cafe Meets . . . Jenny Eclair

Can you give us your pitch for INHERITANCE?


 Inheritance is a book about families and a sense of belonging, its about toxic parenting and not really knowing the truth about your own past.

What inspired you to write this book?


A location in Cornwall, a glimpse of an overcrowded coat-rack and a visit to the doctors.


If your book was a film who would you cast as your leading characters?


I’ve no idea, in my head they exist as real people and none of the character in ‘Inheritance’ look like any famous actors that I can think of.

I certainly don’t write with actors in mind, but I’m always knocked out by how clever casting directors are  -eg the casting of JK Rowling’s Strike series is remarkable.


Where do you write? – do you have an aesthetic workspace, a cramped kitchen table, a cosy bed base?


I have a small study in my house, which is roughly 60 steps from the fridge and another 60 to the lavatory, some days these are the only steps I take all day.

In lockdown, I decoupaged my boiler door, (which is in my study) with rose prints because I got so sick on seeing it behind me on zoom meetings.

I write at a Danish mid 20th century rosewood desk, with a matching armchair, which is upholstered in a black and grey tweed. I have had to have this chair re-uphosted three times in the past ten years, because I wear through the fabric from wriggling around while I write.


Tell us about your writing background – have you always known you wanted to be a writer? When did you start writing?


I’ve always written, I was good at writing stories as a kid and I wrote diaries as a teenager, but I was lazy and my spelling and grammar are terrible. I got a D for my English A level, possibly because I tried to read Dicken’s Bleak House the night before the exam and didn’t really know the names of the main characters. I wrote a great deal of performance poetry and stand up before I started writing radio comedy drama. I wrote my first humour book when I was 34 and my first novel in my fortieth year, which had suddenly become an overwhelming ambition.

Do you have a favourite book? If so, what is it? If not, is there a genre or style you prefer?


I don’t have a favourite book, I have loads of books which I adore and these change annually, this year Marian Keyes ‘Grown ups on audible’ was great for alleviating the anxiety of lock down and I will be forever grateful to her for really entertaining me and the old man on nights when we couldn’t sleep. I listen to a great deal of audio these days as I suffer from dry eye syndrome, to be honest sometimes you get more than a book, you get a performance on top- Daisy Jones and The Six is a case in point. Also Jenny Agutter reading ‘I Capture the Castle’ is perfection.

I adore naughty John Niven’s work, will always read a Maggie o Farrell and a Kate Atkinson, I probably loved the middle of the Goldfinch by Donna Tart more than any other book I read that year and I am very much looking forward to what Candice Carty Williams writes next, as I loved Queenie.

At the moment I’m listening to ‘Such a fun Age’ by Kiley Reid which I’m really enjoying and reading The Weekend in hardback ( easier on the eyes than PB) in the bath.


Here at the little book café we love pets! If you have a pet we’d love you to share a picture and a line about them.


I don’t have a pet! I once knitted myself a dachshund- for a line in my stand up set



Jenny Eclair’s brand new novel Inheritance is out now in paperback!