It’s so much fun to spend a day with Scottish writer Jackie Copleton, whose debut historical novel A DICTIONARY OF MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING comes out today from Penguin Books. The novel deals with the aftermath of the bombing of Nagasaki at the end of World War II, and is a story of family secrets, romance, and reconnection. DICTIONARY is a BookPage Top Pick for December, an Indie Next Pick, and a BBC 2 Book Club selection, among many other distinctions. Below, we go behind the scenes of the London BBC Radio Studios with her as she promotes the novel, then flies off to Majorca for some much-deserved R&R!
The day begins with me packing for my train journey from Glasgow to London for the BBC Radio 2 Book Club – my first appearance on national radio – and then on to Palma, Majorca to meet my husband for our vacation. Along with shoes and swimming goggles, you can see some of my holiday reading choices: Amy Poehler’s Yes Please, Lena Dunham’s Not That Kind of Girl, and The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.
The journey down to London takes four-and-a-half hours so I’m doing some background reading for the interview. Susan Southard’s Nagasaki: Life After Nuclear War is an extraordinary and moving piece of journalism. I’m appearing on the radio at 6pm so I don’t think our conversation will dwell too much on the horrors of atomic devastation while listeners eat their dinner with their children or drive home, but I don’t want to be caught out unprepared on a live broadcast.
This is me arriving in a black cab at the Langham Hotel in London. I must confess my writing days don’t usually involve heading to a five-star hotel for meetings. I’m due to catch up with my publisher, who I haven’t seen in a year. The last time we met was when I went to Hutchinson (an imprint of Penguin Random House UK) last summer to talk about the possibility of her signing up A DICTIONARY OF MUTUAL UNDERSTANDING. Our editorial meetings were over the phone and through emails. I had no idea the hotel was so posh! Continue reading