Author Alice Fitzgerald is speaking at the Margate Bookie this weekend. The Bookie’s Ellie Ward caught up with her ahead of her appearance. They spoke about her debut novel, her love of Margate and her best piece of writing advice:
‘Her Mother’s Daughter took nine long years to write and publish’ says Fitzgerald. A throughline within this transformative process is her keen interest in Ireland, where a large part of her family still lives. Fitzgerald is currently working on a new historical piece of fiction, and whilst it is ‘totally different’ to her debut novel, the setting of Ireland still rings through clearly – the author, who now lives in Madrid, was born in London to Irish parents.
She can’t wait to return to Margate, a destination of childhood holidays. She remembers the sands and rock, but her lasting memory of the place is a lot more striking – the discovery of a dead baby dolphin washed up on the sands. There is something in that image that speaks of a Margate yet to re-emerge as the town we know today. It’s a town still clinging on to its boom years, but falling a bit short.
Fitzgerald clearly has an eye for capturing a place. With that in mind, I ask her for the best piece of writing advice she has ever received. She recounts a tale of a university professor running a creative writing course. The students pile into the room, whereupon he informs them to ‘Get your bum on the seat and write.’
‘That’s it’, Fitzgerald says. ‘The biggest obstacle between me and writing is sitting down!’
You can catch Alice Fitzgerald at the Margate Bookie on Saturday 29th September at 1pm. She’ll be talking about her dark family saga set between London and Ireland in My Family and Other Secrets with the novelists Roopa Farooki and Jess Kidd, in a panel led by Bookie founder, Andreas Loizou.
To reserve tickets go to www.margatebookie.com