Tracy Chevalier is the celebrated author of Girl With a Pearl Earring. We meet the born American in her home in North London and get a glimpse at how she likes to write. Tracy also shares her feelings on becoming a well-known author.
Questions & Answers
- What's your first memory of London? Coming out of Victoria Station from the Gatwick Express and smelling the diesel fumes of black taxis. And the sun was at a weird angle in the sky compared to home (USA).
- What do you miss when you're away from London? The surprising mix of people in public places
- What's your favourite neighbourhood? Bloomsbury
- What's your favourite building? BBC Old Broadcasting House. I love the 1930s stylised sculpture and radio tower.
- What's your ideal night out in London? Theatre, with supper after and a cab home. It never gets old.
- What's your most hated building? Centrepoint, because it doesn’t integrate with its surroundings at all. I’m hoping the current refurbishment will make a difference.
- What's the best view in London? The one from Waterloo Bridge.
- What's been your most memorable night out in London? Opening of Girl With a Pearl Earring in Leicester Square, complete with red carpet
- How would you like to spend your ideal day off in London? At some of the offbeat museums: the Horniman, the Geffrye, the John Soane, Leighton House, ending with tea and cake at a Yumchaa cafe somewhere
- What's the worst journey you've had to make in London? One of those ones where you have to decide, Shall I take the tube or the bus? And you choose one and it goes horribly wrong, with many delays, and you think about the route you didn’t take. That one.
- What's your personal London landmark? The Round Reading Room at the British Museum, back when it was the British Library. I spent hundreds of hours there as a reference book editor, and it taught me how to research, which I later applied to writing historical novels.
- Who's your favourite fictional Londoner? Charles Pooter in The Diary of a Nobody by George and Weedon Grossmith. Hilarious.
- What's your favourite London film, book or documentary? Withnail and I
- For you, who is the ultimate Londoner? That’s the great thing about London – no one is the ultimate. We all fit in here.