Joanne Harris

Literary Birthday – 3 July – Joanne Harris

Happy Birthday, Joanne Harris, born 3 July 1964.


  1. I’ve always written. As a child and an adolescent I began by copying the writers I most admired, then I began slowly to find my own style.
  2. I have an English identity and a French identity. When I’m in France I’m more outgoing. And the French part of me cooks, whereas the English part of me writes.
  3. Synaesthesia is something I’ve been interested in for a long time. Colours have smells and tastes. A type of red smells of chocolate; certain greens taste of bergamot.
  4. If you want to know what’s important to a culture, learn their language. I like collecting words that don’t have an equivalent in English.
  5. Getting published requires a great deal of time, energy and commitment. You are likely to be rejected many times. You will need to develop a very thick skin. If you are very sensitive, or if you think rejection will upset you too much, then perhaps you should just stick to writing for pleasure – after all, not everyone who plays tennis wants to be a pro.
  6. A very few writers make lots of money. Some writers make enough money to live on (I am one of the lucky ones). Most writers don’t make enough money to live on. Some don’t make any money at all.
  7. I work best in the mornings, especially in summer. In winter I get depressed and lethargic, which makes it hard for me to work at all, so most of my writing gets done between March and November.
  8. The process of writing is a little like madness, a kind of possession not altogether benign.
  9. I wake up at precisely 5.27 in the morning. I have absolutely no idea why.
  10. Drop the word ‘aspiring’. Write. Then, write some more.

Follow this link for Joanne Harris’s Tips For Prospective Writers for prospective authors. Read my 2007 Interview with Joanne Harris here

Joanne Harris is a British author. She is best known for her novel, Chocolat, which was adapted for film. Harris has a form of synaesthesia, in which she experiences colours as scents. She focuses on the senses, especially those of taste and smell, in her books. Her latest novel is Different Class from her St Oswald books, which includes Blueeyedboy and Gentlemen and Players.

Source for Image: Joanne Harris / Credit: Kyte Photography

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 3rd July 2013