From playing inspiring roles in the West End to vlogging on YouTube and writing children’s fantasy novels, it’s fair to say Carrie Hope Fletcher leads a magical life. And magic is the main theme of her new novel The Double Trouble Society.
Ivy and Maggie were both born on Friday the 13th and have been best friends ever since. They live in Crowood Peak and despite always being on the lookout for an adventure, not much ever really happens in their boring town. That is, until one night when they spot a mysterious hooded figure entering the old, abandoned mansion Hokum House. And if they didn’t know any better, the shadowy figure looks suspiciously like a witch…
Having recently wrapped up playing Cinderella in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s West End musical, we caught up with Carrie to ask her our 21 questions on life and literature. Below we learn about her love for the Hunger Games series, how being an actress is a very strange job, and writing to make other readers feel something.
Which writer do you most admire and why?
Alice Hoffman! I love her ability to write for both adults and children and yet still keep magic alive in all her stories.
What was the first book you remember loving as a child?
What was your favourite book when you were a teenager?
I loved the Hunger Games series as a teen. I was completely hooked!
Tell us about a book that changed your life’s path
I think it would have to be Green Angel. It was the first time a book really made me feel something and that was when I discovered the power that writing had. I wondered if maybe I started writing, could I make others feel something too?
What’s the strangest job you’ve had outside being an author?
Being an actress is a very strange job. When you’re stood there in the wings dressed as a gothic Cinderella holding a spray can or as a grubby urchin from revolutionary France or as a popular school girl from the Eighties – you do begin to question your life choices!
What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever been given?
No one ever has to see the first draft. It doesn’t need to be perfect.
Tell us about a book you’ve reread many times (and why)
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer. Makes me feel like my 14-year-old self again! Things were simpler when my biggest problem was whether I loved a vampire or a werewolf more!
What’s the one popular children’s book you’ve never got round to reading?
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl! One of my favourite films but I’ve never read the book!
If I didn’t become an author, I would be ______
Still acting but I would be running my own bookshop. Books mean too much to me to not be enthusiastic about them in some way or another!
What makes you happiest?
Coffee, books, Disney, theatre and pastries.
What’s your most surprising passion or hobby?
I make my own journals! I taught myself how to bind books a while ago and I don’t get much time for it but I really enjoy it.
What is your ideal writing scenario?
At home in my office with a scented candle burning, some atmospheric music playing and a jar of peanut butter nearby!
What was your strangest or most embarrassing author experience?
Last book tour, post-pandemic, I got extremely emotional quite a few times and had to stop the queue to have a little sob. I then looked like a blotchy faced mess for everyone’s photos!
If you could have any writer, living or dead, over for dinner, who would it be, and what would you serve them?
Andrew Kaufman! His writing hugely inspires me and we’ve chatted over email but never met. I think we’d have afternoon tea.
What’s your biggest fear?
Not leaving behind a lasting mark on the world when I’m gone.
If you could have a superpower, what would it be?
Invisibility. Or teleportation.
What’s the best book you’ve read in the past 12 months?
Reading in the bath: yes or no?
YES! Although always terrified I’ll drop the book in the water. I also wear glasses so it means they steam up a lot. Maybe I’m rethinking my answer…
Which do you prefer: chocolate or crisps?
What is the best book you’ve ever read?
Again, Daisy Jones and The Six. I was totally blown away!
What inspired you to write your new book?
My love of all things spooky! I think this one has been a long time coming!
The Double Trouble Society by Carrie Hope Fletcher is out now.
Image at top: Victoria Ibbetson for Penguin