Interview with author Karen Tayleur on ‘Love Notes from Vinegar House’
Ten Questions for Karen on writing and ‘Love Notes from Vinegar House’ . . . and her answers –
best comment wins a free copy of the book!
1. In your mind is there a real Vinegar House?
Yes. I came across it on a family holiday, but I can’t remember where it was. It was a spooky old house, abandoned, with shutters lopsided, half fallen off. And it was like the house was watching us, waiting, but wasn’t sure what for. It sat in an overgrown garden and the thing that stood out was a single golden daffodil growing near the front gate half off its hinges. And that’s when I thought, one day I am going to put you in a story. And now I finally have.
2. Have you ever seen a ghost?
No, but I’ve dreamt about them, so I wonder if that’s the same thing?
3. What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
Thesaurus – it is like a treasure trove of alternate words when you are searching for just the right one.
4. Which of the books you’ve written is your favourite?
Always the last, so it has to be Vinegar House.
Though of course, you shouldn’t have favourites among your children.
5. What food do you snack on while you’re writing?
Coffee. It has to be two heaped teaspoons of coffee to one of sugar and a lot of milk.
It has to be in a certain mug. The one with the owls on it.
Unfortunately my daughter decided it was hers so it’s often not available.
I also got a great mug from my good friend Bernadette Kelly which really helps express the frustration of modern life, and holds just the right amount of coffee.
I have also been known to devour a packet of Shapes over the course of an afternoon.
6. What time of day is your favourite time to write?
It used to be late at night, when everyone had gone to bed, but once I got to bed I couldn’t turn off my mind and it would take me hours to get to sleep. So probably a bit earlier now. I usually get my best ideas just as I’m dropping off to sleep… which is so annoying, because you just know you’re not going to remember in the morning.
7. When can we expect your next book?
Haha, next year!
8. What’s your favourite vinegar?
I love balsamic glaze, which is kind of like a thick vinegar.
You can have it on salads or berries – delicious!
9. Which of your book characters is most like you?
Well, my kids read Vinegar House and unflatteringly they decided I had modelled the sharp-mouthed housecleaner Mrs Skelton on myself. I thought that was rather harsh…
10. What is your secret pleasure?
Masterchef. I can’t help it. I swear every season I won’t get sucked in, yet I do.