Best Quotes by Emma Healey

By | January 5, 2017

People always want to give you advice about parenting. People who you’ve never met before will tell you you’re doing something wrong. And it’s quite similar in writing. People forget that you’re a human; they just want to give you their advice.

Emma Healey

Although my father’s mother, Nancy, has dementia, and her experiences gave me ideas for some of the scenes in the book, it was my mother’s mother, Vera, who most influenced the character of Maud. Vera died in 2008, before I’d gotten very far into writing ‘Elizabeth Is Missing,’ but her voice is very like Maud’s.

Emma Healey

Sometimes people ask, ‘If you’d never had a reader, would you carry on writing?’ No.

Emma Healey

It’s a slow process rewriting your own life in your head. I think that’s a writerly thing.

Emma Healey

Reading about what a digital native thinks of the Internet is like reading about what it’s like to blink: it’s kind of boring.

Emma Healey

If you work hard at something, you can forget everything else.

Emma Healey

I have a study at the back of the house, overlooking our garden. It’s tiny, just wide enough to fit my desk in. The walls are covered with pin boards and art postcards from galleries all over the world, including Tate, MoMA, and Lenbachhaus.

Emma Healey

I really admire Ana Mendieta. She was a Cuban American artist who died the year I was born and whose work examines violence, feminism, and belonging. Her art is always brave and visually arresting and vibrates with meaning.

Emma Healey

With novels, you’re representing things. You’re not explaining.

Emma Healey

I had tried to write about young women in London who had jobs and boyfriends, and it was so tedious.

Emma Healey

I think I’m too scatty.

Emma Healey

I had so many people in my family with dementia that it felt like it belonged to me in a way. I feel like the same with teenage depression because I went through it. I feel like I’m allowed to write about it; it’s mine.

Emma Healey

I feel like Mills and Boon saved my life. It was a way of not living. I read a lot of other books as well, but they were definitely the best for just switching my brain off, not having to deal with reality.

Emma Healey

I used to go to the gym with one of my best friends, and we seemed to have the same conversation over and over again. I was always saying, ‘I’m still not pregnant, and I still haven’t worked out what I’m writing,’ and her answer to both was always, ‘Just relax!’

Emma Healey

I loved ‘A Lion in the Meadow’ by Margaret Mahy.

Emma Healey

I was very worried about whether I could do it or not. I mean, how arrogant – here I am in my 20s trying to write from the point of view of a woman in her 80s.

Emma Healey

Several members of my family have, or have had, one form of dementia or another. I really wanted to explore what it might like in fiction, but I didn’t know how to start.

Emma Healey

I can trace my interest in modern classics to the summer before art college.

Emma Healey

I found ‘The Face Of Another’ by Kobo Abe disappointing despite the excellent, gothic premise: a man who’s terrible facial scarring leads him to create a perfect mask.

Emma Healey

I like to go for walks on Wandsworth Common and feed the ducklings.

Emma Healey

A boyfriend made me a hammock in Richmond Park once. That was lovely – although I ended up getting a tick on my stomach from the deer.

Emma Healey

I spend a ridiculous amount on pots, lilacs, and alliums.

Emma Healey

I tried to help a shirtless man who was being arrested in Starbucks. He obviously wasn’t right in the head, but the police thought I was trying to make things worse.

Emma Healey

I’m not a writer who thinks about writing only for themselves; I do always have a reader in mind.

Emma Healey

There are lots of things going on for teenagers, with exam stress, changing friendship groups, becoming independent, and all those hormone changes affecting you.

Emma Healey

When I was very small, I loved ‘Meg And Mog’ by Helen Nicoll and Jan Pienkowski. I had all the books and remember going to see the theatre production.

Emma Healey

When I was very small, I loved ‘Meg And Mog’ by Helen Nicoll and Jan Pienkowski. I had all the books and remember going to see the theatre production.

Emma Healey

Ann Radcliffe was an early influence; I devoured her books while I should have been studying for my GCSEs.

Emma Healey

Penelope Fitzgerald never fails to surprise: her language is clever and elegant, her settings are unusual, her characters are unpredictable, and I am always caught out by a line or moment which makes me laugh out loud.

Emma Healey

The characters in a novel are made up, figments of the writer’s imagination. I’m sure this won’t come as a surprise to anyone, and it’s not surprising to me either, but knowing this, feeling this, definitely made writing my second book harder.

Emma Healey

I love writing dialogue – it’s when I really lose myself in my work. I love reading it, too, when it’s good and rings true.

Emma Healey

I used to say I wasn’t interested in writing about characters.

Emma Healey

When I was writing my first novel, ‘Elizabeth is Missing,’ I was writing the only novel I had ever written and writing about the only protagonist I’d ever written about. Because of this, I didn’t think of her as a construct. Maud was real.

Emma Healey

Like most new writers, I could only hope that one day one publisher might agree to publish one of my books; I couldn’t imagine several publishers all wanting to buy the first book I’d written.

Emma Healey

Writing is the thing that pervades my whole day – I’m always wondering how I might describe something or improve my understanding. I’m constantly trying to remember an eavesdropped conversation or an idea for a story.

Emma Healey

While I was writing ‘Elizabeth Is Missing’ and struggling with the intricacies of the plot, I told myself the next book would be really simple and linear, and I’d have it all worked out before I set down a single word.

Emma Healey

I spent a lot of time researching dementia, read papers on the subject, and also found a lot of dementia diaries on the Internet which were a great help in getting an insight into the disease.

Emma Healey

I was a 20-something woman living in London and didn’t want to write about a 20-something woman living in London! It’s an area well covered already, and people would probably have thought it was about me. I decided that if I wrote about an 82-year-old dementia sufferer, then no one could mistake it as a memoir.

Emma Healey

I’ve been surprised that ‘Elizabeth is Missing’ has been so well received as a crime book. I love mystery stories, and that is what I decided to write.

Emma Healey

When you are in the midst of writing a book, I think it is important to touch base every day. If I wasn’t writing something, I would be reading back what I’d already written. I did take a month off writing at one point and found it really difficult to get back into the world I’d created.

Emma Healey

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