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The Thursday Throng – Meeting Meaghan Delahunt, award winning novelist

Meaghan is the author of The Red Book and In the Blue House, which was longlisted for the 2002 Orange Prize, won the Saltire First Book Prize, a Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year prize and a Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book. She is an award-winning short-story writer and her stories have been widely anthologized and broadcast on BBC Radio 4. She lectures in creative writing at the University of St Andrews. Born in Melbourne, Meaghan Delahunt now lives in Edinburgh.

An Interview with Meaghan Delahunt

What is One thing that No-One Normally Knows About You?

It’s good for writers not to say too much!

What is your single biggest challenge faced when writing your book(s)?

Writing is always a challenge. Each short story and each novel only teaches you how to write that particular short story or novel.  Creativity is inherently mercurial and unstable. You have to coax it and learn to discipline yourself to be open and to face things fresh, with the eyes of a beginner.   Each time I finish a novel I feel completely emptied out, burnt through, and as if I will never write again, even though the ‘new thing’ usually is building. Then I have to rest and fill up once more. The single biggest challenge is getting to the desk regularly and listening to what the work is trying to tell me. To trust the process. To write a little each day ‘without hope and without despair’ ( Isak Dinesen).

Do you have any tips for aspiring writers.

There are no tips. There are no shortcuts. Read well and widely. Write and rewrite. Write and rewrite until you get it right. There is no other way.

How do you keep sane while writing?

Meditation, yoga, pilates, walking, riding my bike. Cups of tea. White wine, fizz, red wine( after writing!).  Not talking about my work-in-progress. Hanging out on the sofa with my partner. Waiting to see what LoveFilm sends.  Seeing friends.  Not thinking about my work  when I’m away from the desk.

Are there any habits you wish you didn’t have?


You can catch up with Meaghan online at:

You can find Meaghan and her books on Amazon at:

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  1. Good to meet you, Meaghan. I enjoyed your interview, particularly the challenges question – trusting the process (I find it easy to lose faith), and resting after finishing something are both ongoing lessons for me – and probably for others, too!

    Thanks for sharing Meaghan with us, Linda. 🙂