Beginner’s Pluck

Liza Klaussmann

Beginner’s Pluck

Liza always wanted to be a novelist, but she got sidetracked into journalism. She worked for the New York Times for 10 years, ending up as editor of a business blog.

“When I was 31, I knew I wasn’t going to be a great journalist, so I applied for a Masters and, a year later, moved to London. I started the book during that year. It took three years. For me, doing the Masters meant I was committed. I got my agent through it.”

Who is Liza Klaussmann?

Date/place of birth: April 12, 1976/New York.

Education: Boarding school, Andover. Barnard College, University of Columbia, then University of London.

Home: Primrose Hill, London.

Family: Single. I live with my dog, Bob, a miniature pincher. I have one brother.

The Day Job: Full time writer.

Hobbies: The book was my hobby for so long. I haven’t cultivated new ones. But I love hanging out with my friends.

Favourite Writers: Margaret Attwood; F. Scott Fitzgerald; Ernest Hemingway; Raymond Chandler.

Second Novel: A fictional retelling of American socialites Sara and Gerald Murphy, famous in the artistic set in the French Riviera in the twenties.

Top Writing Tip: As an unpublished writer, you can be your worst critic and your best cheer leader. Don’t belittle yourself too much.

Web/Twitter: Neither.


Tigers In Red Weather. Picador, €13.99; Kindle, €7.82

It’s the end of World War Two, and cousins Nick and Helena, both newly married, are spending their summers in Martha’s Vineyard. One summer, Nick’s daughter and Helena’s son made a sinister discovery, and the repercussions reverberate through the years. It’s told from five, very different perspectives.

“It’s about family, our connections to each other, and how we can hate the people we love. The character of Nick is based on my grandmother. I set in post war, because there was a barrier to people achieving what they wanted.”

The Verdict: Remarkably assured. Sophisticated, compulsive and menacing, it’s like F Scott Fitzgerald with a twist of bile.

— Interviewed by Sue Leonard

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