Lynda La Plante is an author that requires little introduction, she has been writing for television since 1974, though she was a well known stage and screen actor before that, including working with the Royal Shakespeare company, with her first full novel 'Legacy' arriving on the literary scene in 1987. Legacy did astoundingly well and since then Lynda has written more than 30 novels, had a host of these converted to the big screen (including of course the hugely successful Prime Suspect) and picked up more awards than anyone could count including being made a CBE in 2008.
If that's not enough, she's also on the World Book Night reading list for 2015 with the Prime Suspect novel, and she's been kind enough to answer our questions on her reading habits too...
What is the first book you remember reading?
I was slow to begin reading due to Dyslexia, and therefore came very late into the enjoyment of the written word. When I had help from a Teacher and began to understand how a story could come to life off the page, I wasn’t exactly avaricious in reading but I can clearly recall loving ‘Little Women’. I re-read it numerous times because the beautifully descriptive characters, style and period made me fictionalise myself as one or other of the women. I also remember watching the film and identifying myself with Katherine Hepburn, then re-reading the book again.
What effect does being an author have on you as a reader?
It has absolutely no effect on me whatsoever. I will sometimes react to a title and cover of a book, and on the numerous occasions that this has happened I have absolutely loved reading the book – such as ‘The Lost King of France’ by Deborah Cadbury, and ‘The Secret Rooms’ by Catherine Bailey, which were both bought solely from liking the cover.
Are there any books you can read again and again?
Yes, I love re-reading the classics, such as ‘War & Peace’, ‘Wuthering Heights’ and ‘Little Dorrit’.
Are there any genres that you wouldn’t choose to read?
I have to say that I really detest overtly sexual content. I think there is enough pornography thrown at us at every level for me to ever consider reading pornographic literature.
What is the current book on your nightstand/coffee table?
At the moment there are a few, including: ‘Working Stiffs - Two years, 262 Bodies & the making of a Medical Examiner’ by Judy Melinek, MD & T J Mitchell, ‘The Crimes of Charlotte Bronte’ by James Tully, and ‘The Good Life’ by Martina Cole.
Sending you and all your readers my very best wishes, my new book, 'Tennison' will be out on 24th September - I do hope you enjoy it!