April 2010 – Author – Stella Duffy



Stella Duffy is a writer and performer born in London who spent her childhood in New Zealand before returning to the UK. She has written twelve novels – seven literary novels published by Virago and Sceptre and five crime novels in the Saz Martin series, published by Serpent’s Tail. She has also written over thirty short stories (one of which is featured in the latest book from Glass House Books – Boys and Girls) eight plays,and many feature articles and reviews. With Lauren Henderson she co-edited the fiction anthology Tart Noir (2002). Her own short story in that collection, Martha Grace, was awarded the 2002 Crime Writers’ Association’s Macallan Short Story Dagger.Singling out the Couples was short listed for the 1999 James Tiptree Jr Memorial Award. State of Happiness was longlisted for the 2004 Orange Prize, as was The Room of Lost Things in 2008. She has adapted State of Happiness as a feature film with Fiesta Productions. The first novel in her Saz Martin series, Calendar Girl, was voted fifth equal in the 2007 international poll The Big Gay Read.She won Stonewall Writer of the Year 2008 for The Room of Lost Things.

She has written eight plays, including an adaptation of Medea (Steam Industry at The Scoop 2009), Prime Resident (NYT, Soho Theatre 2007), Immaculate Conceit (NYT, Lyric Hammersmith 2003) The Hand (Gay Sweatshop 1996), her solo shows Breaststrokes (BAC 2004) and The Tedious Predictability of Falling In Love (The Oval 1990)

As a stage performer, she is an associate artist with Improbable, has been a member of the comedy improvisation company Spontaneous Combustion since 1988 and is an occasional guest with The Comedy Store Players. She has performed her solo show Breaststrokes (Time Out and The Guardian Critic’s Choice) in London, Belfast, Cardiff, Dublin, York, and Amsterdam.

She has directed Cell Sell for the National Youth Theatre at the Soho Theatre; Kikia te Poa (Matthew Saville), Precious Things (company devised) at the Pacific Playhouse and Skin Tight (Gary Henderson) at the Pleasance Islington and Riverside Studios – all for Shaky Isles; and The Seduction of Ms Sarah Hart (Caron Pascoe) at The Oval for Kindred Spirits.

She also wrote and presented a documentary in 2008 for the BBC’s Time Shift strand called How to write a Mills and Boon where she took on the challenge of writing a Mills and Boon romance novel.

And just out this month is Stella’s new book ‘Theodora: Actress, Empress, Whore’which was released on June 3rd to great reviews.

taken from wikipedia

 LNL Questionnaire

Your favourite virtue?


Your favourite qualities in a man?


Your favourite qualities in a woman?


Your main characteristic?

Doing too much.

What draws you most to your friends?

That they are honest, open, kind and know that quiet is a wonderful thing.

Given the opportunity what would you most like to change?

I would take ALL arms out of commission, not ‘merely’ nuclear arms, but the lot. I suspect if people had to go back to hand to hand combat to fight each other, there’d be a lot less violence. I’d also quite like to encourage the Taliban to wake up to the value of education for all.

Who would you most like to take out for dinner?

Theodora, Empress of Rome.

Your idea of happiness?

A quiet night in (or out) with the wife. These times are so rare right now, they are utterly precious.

What is your favourite way of spending the day?

If I had the perfect, clear day :

Rise, chant, swim (in the Pacific), read, write, swim, lunch with the Mrs, nap, swim, write, chant, cocktails, dinner with the Mrs and friends, sleep.

Whose life other than yours would you most like to have lived?

I can’t answer this. I truly am happy with the life I have – both it’s struggles and its joys.

Where would you most like to live?

Can you pick London up and put it on the east coast of the North island of New Zealand (anywhere from Waihi down to Opotiki will do), but at the same time keep the beaches clean and open and almost deserted? Thanks.

Who is your favourite author?

I can’t answer this – I have way too many writer friends! That said, Ali Smith is brilliant and John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany is certainly one of my favourite books, and Shakespeare of course, and Janet Frame’s fiction.

Who is your favourite poet?

William Carlos Willams, Shakespeare, Wallace Stevens, Emily Dickinson

Your favourite heroes in fiction?

Owen Meany, Riddley Walker, Tybalt

Your favourite heroines in fiction?

Becky Sharpe, Mary Magdalene, and Sophia from my new book Theodora is a character I was delighted to make up

Your favourite painters?

Rothko, Howard Hodgkins, Terry Frost, Picasso, Sadie Lee, Maggi Hambling

Also – Brancuzi, Tracey Emin, Rodin, Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Anish Kapoor

Who is your favourite composer?

Lennon-McCartney, Joni Mitchell, Carole King, Paul Simon, Kate Bush, Carly Simon

What is your favourite Film?

All About Eve

Your favourite food?

My mother-in-law makes a mean chicken schnitzel, add the in-laws’ family favourite of aloo makala and I’m happy.

Your favourite drink?

Dry vodka martini, olive, no lemon.

Who do you most admire?

Hard workers.

What is your present state of mind?


For what fault have you most toleration?


Your favourite motto?

Get on with it.


Stella’s Blog

Stella on Amazon

My Space®


Tart City

Meet The Author


the end

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