LIKE many writers Emma Donoghue can sit down, open her laptop and begin writing anywhere — but for this Dublin author anywhere means… on a treadmill.
Having just released her latest book Frog Music, she told The Irish Post that when it comes to penning her works of fiction she takes inspiration from Victorian English novelist Charlotte Brontë.
“Trains are particularly good, planes too,” she says. “But when I’m home in Canada, I write on a treadmill. Not metaphorically. Actually on a treadmill.
"So that when I’m writing, I’m also walking. So at least I’m getting a bit of exercise. Apparently Charlotte Brontë used to write standing up.”
Frog Music is an engaging crime novel set in the grimy streets of 1876 San Francisco.
The story, which unfolds in a city gripped by both heatwave and a smallpox epidemic, concerns a French burlesque dancer, who has a sordid relationship with Albert Deneve, an ex–tightrope walker while attempting to solve the murder of her friend.
This is Emma Donoghue’s fourth novel based on a historical incident, and it’s a genre in which the award-winning writer is completely at home in.
But ‘hist-lit’ has not always enjoyed such a high profile, as Emma knows only too well.
“Two of my publishers dropped me because I went in that direction. As an author you should never kid yourself that you’re safe,” the Canada-based writer joked.
In 2010, her arresting bestseller Room was shortlisted for the Man Booker and Orange prizes.
Donoghue is not the only one who like's to write on a threadmill either with Victoria Beckham recently tweeting this photo of her doing likewise.
— Victoria Beckham (@victoriabeckham) March 12, 2014
See next week’s Rí-Rá (out Wednesday) for the full interview