Interview With Elizabeth Noble

The Writers Write Interview – Elizabeth Noble

In this post, we share our interview with Elizabeth Noble. The English author was our guest at an event in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Elizabeth Noble is an English author of seven novels.

The Writers Write Interview With Elizabeth Noble

The Author? Elizabeth Noble
Her birthday? 22 December 1968
The Venue? Nonna Mia’s, Birnam, Johannesburg
The Date? 14 May 2012
The Book? Between a mother and her child
The Interviewer? Amanda Patterson

Elizabeth Noble is charming, funny and intelligent. She describes her writing schedule as one that works on a ‘rising tide of panic’. She says she is the Queen of Procrastination, and that if she has from 8am – 5pm to write, she will write from 2pm. Her writing recipe? She constructs her characters in detail before she starts writing and she writes her ending first.


If love were a colour, what colour would it be? Tiffany Blue
What is the colour of anger? Library Red
What is the colour of money? Green
What is the colour of beauty? Pink
What is the colour of desire? Chanel Red
If your life were a city, what city would it be? Florence
What is the number you associate with reading? 2
What is the number you associate with your day job – before you became a writer? 11 – It’s an irritating, chaotic, messy number
What is the number you associate with writing? 2
What is your favourite number? 2 – Two halves make a whole.

Writing Sense

Writing sounds like birdsong
Writing looks like a different horizon depending on the day
Writing tastes like Sauvignon Blanc
Writing smells like baking
Writing feels like velvet – rough or smooth – depending on how the writing is flowing
If Maggie’s house in your book were a country, it would be the Australia
Where would it shop? Waitrose
It would look like love
It would sound like children playing and Radio 4
It would taste like tea
It would smell like baking
It would feel like denim
If Maggie were an animal, which animal would she be?
A lioness.

More Q & A

What is your favourite meal?
What are you reading?
Titanic – An account of what happened to the survivors
Where do you live?
Surrey, England
Why do you live there?
It’s familiar and comfortable.
How has living there affected your writing?
It’s calmed me down. Living in New York churned me up. I wrote The Girl Next Door when I lived in New york and I consider it my most self-indulgent novel. I am a better writer in England.
What is your favourite quality about yourself?
I am kind
What is your least favourite quality about yourself?
I am jealous
Do you have a favourite quote?
‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’ ~Ghandi
Why is it your favourite?
I think it’s full of positivity and I try to find the joy in every day.
What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life?
Staying married for 16 years. 

The books 

How did you come up with the titles of your books?
I come up with working titles. These come to me in thought bubbles. From an idea, a headline and that evolves as the book takes shape.
Who designed the covers? 
I don’t have as much say in the design of my covers as I’d like. I prefer the American covers.
Why did you choose to write this particular book? 
I wanted to explore grief. The layers of it. How it affects the different family members. I wanted to show how it exposes the cracks that already exist in relationships.
What was the hardest part about writing this book?
Imagining how I would feel if my child had died.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
I was horribly blocked by sadness after writing ‘Between a mother and her child’. I had to have a good talk with my editors and decide what to write next. I am exploring marriage in my next novel – the good, the bad, the indiffirent. The working title is ‘The Great Wall of China’.

Mini-Bucket List?

  • To wear a size 10 dress
  • To see my children walk down the aisle
  • Something that would frighten me, but make me feel euphoric and triumphant

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Still writing, still healthy. And my husband and I living in the same country. He commutes from New York.
When you stop writing, and look back on your life, what thoughts would you like to have?
That I entertained readers. I would like to be remembered as that author whose book you bought and saved for that ‘special read’.

For more photographs from the dinner, follow this link 

Interviewer: Amanda Patterson

If you want to read more of our interviews, click here