In The Chair 40: Carol Cooper

Welcome, Carol Cooper.

How would you describe your writing style in only three words? 

Carol: Racy. Contemporary. Character-driven.


If you could have a relationship with one of your fictional characters who would it be and why?

Carol: As a writer, I think I already have a relationship with all my characters, but if I were to pick one it would be Dan. He’s newly released from jail, after six years for a crime he didn’t commit. Now he’s rebuilding his life, searching for work, and looking for someone to love. Although he’s self-motivated, it’s still a tall order for someone as uneducated and traumatized as he is. I’d help him develop his language skills and would probably pay for his dental work, by which time I’d probably have fallen in love with him.

If you had to exist for a week in one of your books … which one would it be? Would you be a central character or simply watch the story unfold from the sidelines?

Carol: As a doctor, I spent a lot of my time in the world of my non-fiction books which are mostly health books and textbooks. Now that you’ve offered me a week to spend where I want, I’ll gladly spend it in my novel One Night at the Jacaranda which is about a motley group of thirty-somethings searching for someone special. It’s set in London, so I wouldn’t have far to travel. I’d be freelance journalist Harriet who initially sets out not to find a soul-mate, but to write a series of features on dating. Pretty soon, however, she’s caught up in the action and her life changes completely.

Dr Carol Cooper gar crop (1)Dead or alive literary dinner party: who would you invite, and what would you serve?

Carol: My dinner party would require a very big table, as the guest list includes Ruth Rendell, PD James, Mark Twain, Howard Jacobson, Jean Kerr, Kate Atkinson, Alaa Al-Aswany, Maggie O’Farrell, Philip Roth, Tom Sharpe, Jane Austen, and Barack Obama. I’d serve salmon en croûte followed by crème brulée. I doubt anyone would notice the food, but the wine might go down well.

If you had to write in a different genre which would it be and why?

Carol: Medical thrillers. I always enjoy drawing on my experience as a doctor, and I’d love to create a whole medical world as a setting for a thriller.

What do you dislike the most about being an author?

Carol: Like most authors, I’m not fond of the stuff that’s unrelated to writing: computer glitches, backache from sitting too long, and the distractions of social media.

One Night at the Jacaranda_eBook_Oct_2014

Favourite word?

Carol: Confabulate. At medical school I met a few patients who fabricated stories to make up for memory loss or blindness, and they actually believed their tales were true. Of course, we fiction writers confabulate too, even when we don’t have a brain problem like Anton’s syndrome.

Carol Cooper was in the chair, author of: One night at the Jacaranda

Web: Pills & Pillow-Talk