The 13th may be unlucky for some but thankfully it’s not here at Elementary V Watson for we have the utterly delightful Louise Beech with us to review her 2016. And what a year it’s been!
Over to Louise – thanks for participating, Louise.
FAVOURITE PROFESSIONAL MOMENT OF 2016?
It’s very hard to pick a favourite professional moment from 2016! There have been so many, more than I’ve ever been lucky enough to enjoy in my life so far. I visited a prison and chatted about life-writing with a group of incredible inmates. I did an emotional talk for the Royal Chelsea Pensioners in London. ‘The Mountain in my Shoe‘ was a book on the underground! I had three book launches, including a fun road trip to York with friends, drinking rather a lot of wine. Maybe it was the launch of ‘The Mountain in my Shoe‘ at Piccadilly Waterstones in London that stands out. I couldn’t quite believe it was happening. To me. At the biggest Waterstones in the UK. I’ll never forget it.
FAVOURITE PERSONAL MOMENT OF 2016?
Just one? No! I was very proud to see my daughter Katy go to her school prom and then pass her exams; also, to see son Conor doing a job he enjoys. It was amazing too when we held a reunion for lifeboat family members from ‘How to be Brave‘. My favourite personal moment was when Claire McAlpine got in touch after reading ‘How to be Brave‘. She was in the hospital with her Type 1 daughter, who was having very serious surgery, and the book was helping her go on, helping her cope, giving her comfort. All kinds of magical coincidences occurred and she shared the experiences on her website and social media. I will never forget it. (Her daughter is now doing very well!)
FAVOURITE BOOK OF 2016?
My favourite book of the year? This changes every single time I get asked. It changes every day, to be honest, because there were so many greats this year. I’m going to say ‘The Lodger‘ by Louisa Tregar, because it was the last one I read and its beauty is still swirling around my head.
FAVOURITE FILM OF 2016?
I had to think about this as I don’t think it’s been a great year for films particularly. I watched ‘Whiplash‘ for the first time this year (does that count?) and absolutely loved it. I got it. Got the drive for creative perfection, almost at any cost.
DOWNSIDES IN 2016?
There are always downsides. I tend not to share those much, in general. Always concentrate on the positive. I’ve found it hard to let go of my daughter as she grows up with her Type 1 Diabetes. Hard not to be a part of it as much as when she was small, but know it’s something I must do. It was very emotional, also, when my siblings and I got our care records from when we were small. Something we’ve never seen. Quite profound too considering the themes of ‘The Mountain in my Shoe‘. We’re piecing together our past, which can be tough.
HOPES/NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS FOR 2017?
I tend not to make specific resolutions; I call them hopes. Wishes. But I guess, really, it’s the same thing. I always plan to make life better for my family, to be a better friend, to be a better person. Don’t we all? But specifically, this year I plan to enjoy Hull being the UK City of Culture. To see book three, Maria in the Moon, soar up the charts and be well-received. And maybe I’m secretly plotting to rule the world by the end of 2017 – who knows?