Q&A with Suzanne Bugler, author of The Child Inside

10 March 2015

By Pan Macmillan

1) How would you sum up The Child Inside in one line?
It is a story about loss and aspiration, and the danger of feeling lonely within your own skin.

2) What inspired you to write this story?
I dreamt the whole thing one night when I was on a skiing holiday. It was one of those strange dreams with snippets of reality woven in – very disturbing.

3) What is your writing routine and how long did it take to write The Child Inside?
I don’t have a routine as such. Some days I write loads and others nothing at all. If I plan to stay in all day and write it just doesn’t happen; I have to get out and use up all my energy first. The Child Inside took just under a year to write. Towards the end it was incredibly intense and I had very little time for anything else.

4) What do you like best about being a writer?
I just love giving my imagination free reign. I get totally immersed in the characters and the story. I love the way fiction and reality can merge. Who can tell what is real and what isn’t?

5) What do you find hardest about being a writer?
Looming deadlines are always a worry. But really, the hardest thing is when I’ve just finished a book. I suddenly feel rather lost. 

6) What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Don’t give up. Keep polishing your skills, and be confident of your own voice.

7) What do you enjoy reading? And which books have inspired you to write?
I really enjoy books that reflect life, and aren’t afraid to be honest about human nature. Deborah Moggach’s Porky was a huge inspiration, as was Edmund White’s A Boy’s Own Story. I love Revolutionary Road by Richard Yeats and Zoe Heller’s Notes on a Scandal…the list goes on and on.

8) How did you come up with the title?
Titles are really hard. Without wishing to give away the plot, there are many layers to the title of The Child Inside.

9) What do you hope readers will take away from your novels?
I hope they will remember them for a long time, and that perhaps they might stop and look at life from a different point of view.

10) What can readers look forward to next from you? 
I’ve just finished writing a very dark tale about a family who move from London to the country in search of a better life…