Consultant in the Hot Seat – Stephanie Hall



1)   What book are you reading at the moment and what do you think of it?

2013 was the year I started a goodreads account and between my Kindle and their algorithm I fell into a bit of an indie author YA/NA hole, which I actually didn’t try very hard to get out of. I’ve just finished rereading the Slammed series by Colleen Hoover, which was picked up by Simon and Schuster last year. (She actually chose to sign with Simon and Schuster for print-only deal and keep control of the digital side herself for the latest one – very savvy!) The recent rise in Publishers picking up bestselling indie authors is something that I’m absolutely fascinated by and was talked about a lot a LBF13. It’s changing the roles within the industry and it’s quite exciting to have these people come in and shake up the traditional publishing business model! It means very interesting things for marketing, editorial and sales teams and I’m keen to see how it plays out over the next year or two. I also keep dipping into Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir by Jenny Lawson, AKA The Bloggess, which makes me cry with laughter on the tube.

2)   Which literary figure would you be?

Scout Finch, from To Kill a Mockingbird. She’s blunt, can climb trees and has a better understanding of what is important in other people than most of the grownups, which are three very admirable traits.

3)   If you could have written any book that exists now, which would it be?

I would love to say an incredibly profound classic or a novel of huge cultural importance, but as a Generation Y-er/Millennial in the process of trying to buy property in London, I’m going to go with Fifty Shades of Grey. A quick Google search tells me E.L. James’s net worth is $60 million. If that’s a bit of a cop-out, I’ll go with the Catcher in the Rye because I’d like the satisfaction of writing something that so many people love and then become a recluse and write for my own pleasure, just because I can.

4)   Who would you invite (and why) to your fantasy literary dinner party?

Edith Grossman, who is perhaps the most successful Spanish to English translator and always does a beautiful job. She always has a lot of interesting opinions on literary translation and was asked to do the 400th birthday translation of Don Quixote, which gives me huge job-envy.

David Sedaris, because he’s one of the funniest writers I have ever read.

Albus Dumbledore for a little bit of wisdom and to see that scar shaped like a map of the underground.

Mario Vargas Llosa because I’m a big fan of the literary output of the Latin American Boom, and he’s my favourite of the lot. And it’s a very good lot.

Finally, I’d invite Lydia Bennet, she’d be inappropriate and foolish and you need a bit of scandal at a dinner party to discuss the next morning.

5)   What are you most looking forward to in 2013/2014?

My book, film and translation nerdiness hits its peak when I hear about or go to see a film adaptation of a book I’ve read. I have never understood why people get upset about changes or additions or omissions. Those are the best bits! With that in mind, I am most excited about going to see The Fault in Our Stars, to see how they split Mockingjay into two films, The Book Thief and Gone Girl in the next year. And 50 Shades of Grey (two mentions in one blog post?) – I am fascinated with the concept of translating this to the big screen and all the obstacles (Script? Casting? Rating?) that it’s already facing. Regardless of the plot or the quality of writing, I’m intrigued to see how someone else tries to tell this story through a different channel. ‘Citing!

True fact: Her vacuum cleaner has had one previous owner, who was Paul Gascoigne, of weepy-football/drinking fame.

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