5 minutes with Harriet Lane

Author of revenge thriller, Her

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If you haven't already booked tickets to our next #ELLEBookClub live event, rectify that here.

Delicious canapés, Baileys over ice, and a talk from the author of one of this year's must-reads, Harriet Lane, with her novel Her.

We grabbed 5 minutes with the author to chat toxic friendships, psychoanalysis and The Wind in the Willows...

ELLE: What is the nicest thing that’s been said about your book?

HL: A lot of people said that once they started reading it, they just couldn’t stop. I’ll get tweets at 2am from people saying that they started it at dinner time and now that’s the evening gone. I love that sense of people getting sucked in – that’s the most gratifying thing without a doubt.

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ELLE: The novel delves into the psychology of people – do you ever think that would have made great career alternative?

HL: There is an element of psychoanalysis. I think that’s what you do with characters in books - you try and unpick their motives and make connections, and I don’t know about as a job, but certainly looking at people and the mysteries of personality, it’s all incredibly interesting to me.

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ELLE: Her focuses on toxic female friendship – why do you think this is such an interesting topic?

HL: I’m interested in the tiny little cruelties that we so easily inflict on each other. You can use these apparently benign interactions in fiction and create the same dynamic that you'd find in a detective or horror novel.

ELLE: What are you reading at the moment?

HL: The Fair Fight by Anna Freeman.

ELLE: Which writer, living or dead, would you most like to spend an afternoon with?

HL: Diana Holman-Hunt. I just read her memoir, My Grandmothers and I. It’s about growing up at the turn of the last century and every line is a hilarious rolling-on-the-floor gem.

ELLE: What fictional world would you most like to live in?

HL: Badger in The Wind in the Willows seems to have it all taped: a fire in the hearth, plenty of good food, bed linen scented with lavender. Sounds pretty perfect to me.

ELLE: What makes you laugh?

HL: Mishearing things. It reveals mad aspects of life and turns things on their head.

ELLE: Describe yourself in 5 words.

HL: Books. Gin. Eavesdropping. Hates laundry.

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ELLE Book Club Live: September 8

Are you coming? Tweet us at @ELLEUK @BaileysPrize #ELLEBookClub

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