Writer, journalist and podcaster Sophie White has published four books: Recipes for a Nervous Breakdown, two novels prompted by a deep dive into the world of influencers and mummy bloggers, Filter This and Unfiltered, and her latest book Corpsing (Tramp Press) in which White explores the uncomfortable point where motherhood meets addiction. She lives in Irishtown with her husband Seb and three sons, Rufus, Arlo and Sonny.
ON HOME I came from a house full of books and I live in a house full of books. I’m really lucky, I live close to my mother and my family home, on a gorgeous redbrick lane, called The Avenue (capital T, capital A!) by everyone on the lane. I have the best neighbours. My first son was born in this house a few days before Christmas in 2013. I vividly remember that New Year’s Eve. At midnight I was up being milked by the tiny stranger and I heard amid the fireworks, faint singing from outside. I walked out my front door and my whole street was out there, glasses in hand, singing “Que Sera Sera”. When they spotted the new baby who had yet to have his debut on The Avenue, they turned as one and began singing directly to me and the bab. It was just gorgeous, very Richard Curtis-y! Also one of the claims to fame of The Avenue is that Joyce mentions our street in Ulysses. I’ve never read it but any time a house goes up for sale on the street, this information (without fail) appears in the brochure.
ON MY NEIGHBOURHOOD I live near the beach at Sandymount. I bring my kids there all the time. It’s both idyllic and slightly industrial which I love. It’s also the site of a few pet burials from my childhood. My dad would do the honours. I always think of him like someone from a Poe story, heading down there in the night, oil lamp swinging from a stick in one hand, limp cat swinging from the other. This area is also my dad’s final resting place. My mother and I scattered his ashes at the end of the South Wall. He also introduced kid-me to the Half Moon Club which is a swimming spot about halfway down the pier. Being him, he decided to mess with me. On the road leading to the South Wall, there’s a large manmade pool of water. You climb a rusting fence to access it. Water of an unknown origin pours in from a hefty pipe and the entire surface is coated with a substance that can only be described as foaming grimness. It smells like hell down there. On the day in question, my dad pulled over beside this pool and cheerfully stripped to his swimming togs as I looked on in disgust and terror. He was on the railings preparing to jump over when I said: “You are not serious.” “I’m not,” he deadpanned. And we went on to the considerably more lovely Half Moon Club.
ON MY DESK My desk is mostly covered in my various craft projects: whatever I’m currently knitting. Stick and poke kits for my DIY tattoos, threads and scissors and scraps. Lavender for luck. A jotter for notes beside my laptop. I sit by a window and most of the time, the window is covered with pages torn from the jotter. I stick them up when I need to see the big picture of what I’m working on.
ON WRITING It’s my favourite thing. I do it every day because writing is like lifting weights, you can’t stop or you’ll lose the muscle. There is no end point. And you have to stay strong.
ON WHAT’S NEXT I am working on my current novel which couldn’t be more different from Corpsing. I love writing fiction so much. I enjoy almost every page as much as is possible for any neurotic writer. If I write a page that was a bit boring to write then I know it needs to be binned.
Corpsing (Tramp Press) by Sophie White is out now.
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