“Alex Mansfield, the doctor leading a groundbreaking project to grow a human foetus in an artificial uterus, has gone on the run and taken the newborn baby with her. While the child’s parents wait anxiously for news, and the world’s media clamour for answers, Alex’s colleagues are shocked by her actions. Has Alex stolen the baby, or is there another motive behind her disappearance?Ooh sounds most intriguing, and the sort of story I really like to read. So let's find out more about our author of the day.
Baby X weaves science and medical ethics into an intimate thriller; asking questions without offering easy answers.”
Do you have another job or are you a full time author? If you do something else (international spy?) what is it and do you like it?
I’d love to say I was an international spy, but I’m actually an Associate Director of an arts and education charity based in Lewes, East Sussex. I do enjoy it – we do a lot of varied and interesting projects – but I do wish I had more time to write.
At the moment – between work, family and work to promote Baby X all my time is committed. So I’m getting up very early in the morning to write my next book.
When did you start writing?
I started writing stories and poems when I was tiny and wrote all throughout my teens. I lost confidence with it in my twenties – I think doing a degree and then a Master’s in English Literature didn’t help… And then I started again in my thirties when I finally admitted how much I missed making things up.
What 3 things are guaranteed to make you smile?
I listen to a lot of podcasts, some serious science ones but also quite a lot of comedy. Current faves for a guaranteed giggle include Adam Buxton and Answer Me This.
The look on my kids’ faces when they do something they think is hilarious (like a silent-but-deadly fart).
If all else fails, Emily Gilmore makes me smile.
Do you have any pets?
No pets I’m afraid. One day I’d like to own a bearded dragon which would sit on my shoulder as I write.
Who is your favourite author?
The greatest influence on Baby X was Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. I wanted to combine serious ideas about technology, society, and feminism with a good story full of suspense and tension, the way Atwood did in that book – although I know I’ve got a long way to go before I could claim to write as well as her.
Which book(s) are you reading at the moment?
I’m beta reading a book by a friend of mine, Neil McIntosh. It’s a thriller about memory and it’s creepy as hell – I’m not sure what the final title will be but he’s a name to watch out for.
I recently read Laura Lipman’s Wilde Lake and absolutely loved it. And My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal made me cry.
Where do you do most of your writing?
I write at my desk which is in our living room, so is only ever quiet either very early in the morning, or when everyone else is at work and school.
I’m quite good at filtering out distractions, and have been known to wear earplugs to get some writing done whilst blocking the sound of Saturday morning cartoons.
Tell us about the character that you've written that you like the most - no spoilers!
My favourite character in the book is the doctor, Alex. She’s clever, hard-working and committed, but also spiky and difficult, and there are times we might have reason not to trust her version of events. She’s likeable, but not too likeable, if you know what I mean.
What is your favourite biscuit?
And now onto serious matters! I must admit there aren’t a lot of biscuits I *don’t* like. We brought a box of all butter Breton biscuits back from our holiday in France this year and I could eat those by the fistful.
Tea or Coffee?
In the film of your life who would play you?
Probably Susan Sarandon (although she’s quite a bit older than me, so I’m not sure how that would work). I like how tough and no nonsense she is. Plus, great hair.
If a time machine was on offer, Katherine Hepburn.
If you could genetically cross an animal and a vegetable, what would you pick and why? I like the idea of a sweet potato panda, a soft of soft orange bear....
The sweet potato panda sounds very cute. Or a bright orange mango kitten.
Baby X is available from Amazon or direct from my publisher Mother’s Milk Books http://www.mothersmilkbooks.com/
Becky has a website and blog at www.rebeccaannsmith.co.uk and you can find her on Facebook
On Twitter as @beckysmithhurst
Becky is always up for chatting with other writers on Twitter – it’s one of her favourite procrastination techniques.