Beginners Pluck

Louise Verity

Louise had an exotic childhood. Her mother was beautiful, and her father charming, but they weren’t good with money to support their five children. “We moved a lot. Mostly in Britain, but also to Italy where we had exotic rich relations. I was bowled over by Florence, at nine. It’s achingly beautiful. ”

After college, Verity set up a fashion business, making alternative wedding dresses and individual costumes. Then she cycled to people’s houses, helping them with all the sewing jobs that needed attention. She’s been quietly writing, and illustrating for many years.

who is Louise Verity ?

Date/place of birth: 1957/Kent.

Education: Devon, Scotland and Gloucestershire. Hornsey Art School; The London College of Fashion.

Home: Up a mountain in Cevennes, France. Moving to Ireland in January.

Family: Husband, Carsten Mikkelsen, known as the last Viking.

The Day Job: Writing, drawing, and looking after her husband, and two dogs, Belou and Bella.

Hobbies: Dancing. “I used to dance too much at parties.”

Favourite Writers: William Trevor, Sebastian Barry.

Second Novel: Another illustrated book, The Seven Deadly Sins. The second Pollyhester book will come after that.

Top Writing Tip: “I don’t have one. I drowned a computer I was so furious with it.”

Web: www.louiseverity.com Not on Twitter.

THE DEBUT

Pollyhester. Lilliput Press. €20. Kindle: Not available.

Pollyhester is an eccentric dressmaker working for celebrity clients. She designs a dress for Celebrity Iverna, for a ball, but the fashion changes overnight, and she had to come up with a new dress. She drafts in an unusual band of helpers. Iverna is thrilled, but ultimately turns away from fashion.

“Pollyhester is me! I’m desperately worried about the effect of brand fashion on children. No one is allowed to be eccentric anymore. I’m trying to help kids think outside the financial machine of fashion. I would love my book to provoke discussion.”

The Verdict: Original, lavish, and stunningly illustrated.

Interviewed by Sue Leonard

More in this section