Anna Mazzola is the author of ‘Proof of the Pudding’. Anna’s short fiction has won or been placed in several competitions, as has her work-in-progress historical crime novel, The Unseeing. Anna is also a human rights/criminal justice solicitor. She lives in Camberwell with two children, two cats and one husband.
Author Q & A
Can you tell us about the inspiration behind this story?
I wanted to write a piece for Christmas, and liked the idea of someone telling a story while cooking. Somehow my warped mind came up with this, helped along by Mrs Beeton’s recipe for Christmas plum-pudding.
When did you start writing?
I’ve always loved books, and I studied English, but I only began writing while I was on maternity leave, nearly four years ago. I took a beginner’s creative writing course with the fantastic Literary Kitchen, and I’ve been writing ever since.
What has been your biggest challenge as a writer?
Asides from the usual author neuroses, the biggest challenge for me is finding enough time to write. I’m lucky to have a supportive family who help with childcare and I was fortunate to be able to take some time off work to finish my novel. I’ve also learnt to make much better use of the time I get. Even if you only have ten minutes, you can do a first draft of a scene or brainstorm a plot problem.
Can you tell us about your journey to getting an agent?
Last year, I attended the Novel Studio at City University and, in the summer, we sent out an anthology of the students’ work. One of the agents who contacted me on the back of that was Juliet Mushens at the Agency Group. I’d heard about Juliet’s reputation and had recently met one of her clients, Jessie Burton, who’s had such amazing success with The Miniaturist. I was therefore delighted when Juliet offered me representation.
What do you most enjoy about writing?
The sheer escapism of it: focusing on the language enables me to briefly forget about everything else.
I also love the research element that comes with historical fiction.
Are you currently working on a full-length novel and looking for a publisher?
I’ve recently completed a historical crime novel called The Unseeing, which is based on a real murder in London in 1836. It tells the story of Sarah Gale, who must convince a young lawyer of her innocence in order to escape hanging.
I’m working on some edits with my agent, and we hope to be in a position to start submitting the manuscript to publishers in the new year. I think you can guess what my Christmas wish will be!
Agent Representation: Anna is represented by Juliet Mushens at The Agency Group.