Favourite food, savoury and sweet
I prefer savoury things to sweet, and I especially love a Middle Eastern dip called babaghanouj (also spelled baba ghanoush). It’s made of aubergine, garlic and lemons, among other things. Like my character Laure from my novels, I am half Lebanese, and this is my favourite food, eaten with proper Lebanese bread which is like pitta but more papery. If I had to choose a sweet, it would be dark chocolate, ideally Swiss.
Bloody Mary, please, and not too much Tabasco. Oh, is it too early? Well, just a tomato juice then. My father used to make the best Bloody Marys and they remind me of happy times. Plus I like to think they’re healthy.
Love, Actually, for its mix of wit and sparkling dialogue. The plot is a little unlikely in places, but the film is also poignant and full of great characters. I happen to love multi-stranded stories, as you’d guess from reading my novels.
That’s a tough one, as I’m sure many authors tell you, but I’m going to choose Cocktails and Camels by my late mother. It was her first book and she wrote it while I was a child. She kept telling me to keep quiet because she was writing. It was annoying at the time, but now I can totally understand it. Cocktails and Camels was about growing up in Alexandria, Egypt, around the time of WW2, and it’s still one of the funniest books I have ever read. I have one cherished signed copy, which is just as well as it’s out of print.
My all-time favourite has to be Kate Atkinson. She writes books that are consistently intelligent and entertaining, yet she never fails to surprise. What’s not to love?
Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Although she’s just a child, she’s a natural leader, and she grows in strength and wisdom during the book as she learns what’s really important in life. And the ruby slippers are irresistible.
Summer in the City by the Lovin’ Spoonful. Or Nights in White Satin. Or maybe Purple Haze? Damn, sixties music is just so good.
My ginger cat Mishmish. The name means ‘apricot’ in Arabic and in Hebrew. Ginger female cats are uncommon, but not that rare. Mishmish is the third one I’ve had. She’s very affectionate, and I think she’s quite clever too. She now has her own column in an online publication called The Property Owner, which she writes under the pen name of Lady Marmalade.
Place to write
In a notebook, with a pencil. It doesn’t really matter where, but I do need some quiet. Later on, I transfer my scribblings to the computer. If I can read them.
I’ve always loved summer. You don’t need a coat, tights, or a jumper, and the long evenings make everything seem possible.
“You cannot predict the future,” as Stephen Hawking said.
Thing in the whole world
Am I allowed to say my family? It’s absolutely my favourite thing in the whole world.
Carol Cooper a doctor, journalist, and author. After a string of parenting books and an award-winning medical textbook, she turned to writing novels. She lives in North London and Cambridge, and has three grown-up sons who haven’t turned out too badly.
Published in July 2016, Hampstead Fever is Carol’s second novel. It follows the intertwined lives of six Londoners as emotions rise to the boil one hot summer. One Night at the Jacaranda is her first novel.
Thanks so much for joining us today Carol.
Book Angel x