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The journalist, podcaster and now debut novelist, Daisy Buchanan, certainly has a busy schedule – but she found some time to discuss her new novel with us, Insatiable.
You’re best known for your journalism and non-fiction books – what inspired you to write a novel?
It’s something I’ve always dreamed of doing. I’ve always loved reading fiction; it’s a real escape. I wanted to tell a story that’s fictional, but believable.
There’s book I really love called ‘Look at Me’ by Anita Brookner about a young woman who befriends a couple – it’s not sexually explicit, but there’s certainly an undertone. I loved the book – it’s very funny and dry. Insatiable really came from me thinking ‘I wonder what that story would be like if it was taken further?’ I’ve always been fascinated by relationships, intimacy, and how people connect to each other.
You used to be an agony aunt for Grazia – did that experience help you with your writing?
It was such a privilege to be an agony aunt. When you write as an agony aunt you explore every solution there is but it’s different when it comes to making personal choices. Even when I was an agony aunt I wasn’t particularly wise and often the last to take my own advice.
Big emotions often come with a lot of energy and the best thing to do is to stand back from them a bit and let them settle. But Violet’s (the protagonist in Insatiable) at the point in her life where she just wants to charge off. Stopping and figuring it out and just being would be hell for her.
How would you describe Violet, the main character in ‘Insatiable’?
Violet wants so much but she doesn’t know what she’s allowed to want. She is just so terrified of what her own potential might be and she’s scared of asking too much. Her personality is irrepressible and really until she meets Lottie and Simon it’s only ever got her into trouble – she’s been too messy and too loud. She’s moved by and feels so touched by everything she sees. The lesson I hope she learns in the book is that she has got to be brave, no one can do that for her.
The sex scenes in ‘Insatiable’ are quite explicit – why did you choose to include them?
I’ve never really lived in that world, but I’ve always adored Jilly Cooper and Jackie Collins books! As a teen reader I was always desperate to get hold of any book that I shouldn’t have been reading. I had fairly strict catholic parents and I grew up in the 90s in the pre-broadband era so without any of the porn that people have access to these days.
Sex is such a big part of being human and it’s really interesting that we seem so reluctant to talk about it. Some of the books I love have such beautiful detail, but then it comes to the sex scene and it’s just a brief mention.
I also think it’s really interesting that what we see on screen now is quite explicit – I love Bridgerton, and Normal People for example. It should be less shocking to find a sex scene in written fiction where we can really tailor things to our imagination and take it at our own pace. Yet somehow it seems more shocking on a page than it does on TV – I don’t know why that is.
What do you hope readers take away from your novel?
My aim was always to write a book that was fun to read. I think the story is also quite stressful at times because Violet does do a lot of stupid things, but I hope the overall journey that Violet that goes through will prove uplifting.
It’s a book about knowing what you want is probably neither good nor bad. We are all so afraid of being judged but we judge ourselves before anyone else does.
Buy Insatiable now on Amazon