Dorothy Koomson has been described as “Britain’s biggest selling Black author of adult fiction”. Now, she returns with her latest psychological thriller, My Other Husband.
Dorothy Koomson is a global, bestselling author whose books have been translated into more than 30 languages with sales exceeding 2.5 million copies in the UK alone. For those of you who are yet to be introduced to her writing, her previous bestseller titles include The Friend, That Girl from Nowhere, The Ice Cream Girls, The Woman He Loved Before, The Chocolate Run and My Best Friend’s Girl.
During a break from a busy promo schedule of her latest book, My Other Husband, currently an eBook Number 1 Bestseller, we caught up with Dorothy to find out a little more about the woman behind the books.
Read on for our interview with Dorothy Koomson.
When did you first develop your love for reading?
I’ve been reading since I was about three years old because my mum taught me to read and write before I went to nursery. So, I’ve always loved reading and being around books. When I was younger, I used to go to the library every day after school just to read books. I taught myself grammar and how to write a book and my friends and I used to pool money together and buy magazines to read.
What’s the weirdest aspect of your writing process?
Probably that I don’t start from the beginning. I write sometimes from the middle and sometimes from the end. Then I put it all together. It’s weird to other people but it works for me.
What did you have for dinner last night? And who cooked it?
I had stir-fry with rice and chicken thighs, which I’d cut up and coated in seasoning, then shadow fried. It was lovely!
In My Other Husband the protagonist is a novel writer who becomes a scriptwriter. What is the difference between the two?
They’re so different. You’ve got to write really visually as a scriptwriter and have minimal dialogue. Whereas with a novel, you can have as much description and dialogue as you want as long as it keeps the story going.
Does any aspect of your lived experience make it into your books, like My Other Husband?
All the time. That’s what it’s there for! For example, in my second book, The Chocolate Run, Amber’s favourite chocolate is the same as mine – Maltesers. Although I can’t eat it anymore because I am gluten-free. But I’ve kept the love of Maltesers going by mentioning them in My Other Husband. Sometimes I put my favourite actors and use their names as street names, or with places in Ghana, I use them as surnames for my characters. In My Other Husband, my love of writing comes through a lot.
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You have a mentoring group, The Happy Author, can you speak more about that and why you started it?
Last year I started mentoring people in two different ways. They found it really helpful. I started my podcast in 2020, which was trying to demystify and give access to the publishing industry. After this several people asked if I would mentor them, which I couldn’t. So, instead, I thought I would send out a weekly email of writing tips and then people can send me their writing news and word count and I do my best to reply. And a few people have said it’s helpful. You can sign up to the newsletter on my website.
What famous actress would play Dorothy Koomson in the movie of your life? And why?
Danai Gurira because she is beautiful. And I love her acting and I love her.
If you were kidnapped and were forced to film a ransom message, what phrase would you sneak in that your loved ones would know to send help?
“Reading is a waste of time”. They would be sending in the SWAT team in no time!
Quick fire questions:
- Beyonce or Rihanna? Both.
- Staying in or going out? Staying in.
- Wine or cocktail? Prosecco cocktail so it’s kinda both.
- Cinema or Netflix? Cinema.
- Starter Dessert or both? I want all of it! The starter, the meal, and the dessert.
- Home-cooked meal or eating out? Eating out for not having to wash up but home-cooked meal because it always tastes better.
My Other Husband by Dorothy Koomson is published by Headline, £16.99 in hardback.