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Isabel Costello

Writer of contemporary fiction and the Literary Sofa blog. Originally from Salisbury, Wiltshire, I studied Modern Languages at Oxford before moving to London where I live with my husband and two teenage sons.
Isabel Costello has written 267 posts for The Literary Sofa

Paris Mon Amour to be released in paperback under new Literary Sofa imprint

As hinted here more than once – remember my new year ‘making things happen’ mantra? –  I have some pretty big news!  It’s already gone live to Bookbrunch subscribers this morning (thanks, Bookbrunch) and, hoping you’ll excuse the weirdness of me referring to myself in the third person on my own blog, I am thrilled to … Continue reading

Writers on Location – Claire Fuller on the Isle of Purbeck, Dorset

Today’s guest Claire Fuller has visited me before on the Literary Sofa and it’s lovely to have her back.  When I read her debut novel Our Endless Numbered Days before publication, little did any of us know that it would go to take the 2015 Desmond Elliott Prize for a first novel – and yet … Continue reading

Guest Author – Essie Fox on Capturing the Passage of Time

It’s been a slow start to the year on the blog because I’ve been incredibly busy with work – but it’s always a treat to return to ‘Sofa business’, especially today, when I am joined by my first guest of 2017.  I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Essie Fox a couple of times and attended the … Continue reading

Two weeks in the Western Cape, South Africa

It’s two years since I last wrote a travel piece that’s not book related, and since real life kicked in immediately following our Christmas trip, it’s taken a couple of weeks to get round to this one.  I find myself saying ‘it already seems quite distant’ and yet, like any trip I’ve ever made, I … Continue reading

To 2017 and making things happen

This is just a quick post to wish you all a very happy new year. I’ve returned invigorated from a glorious two-week burst of summer in South Africa – lots to say about the trip and since I love travel writing and it’s been a long time since I wrote about anywhere except France, next … Continue reading

2016 – My Year in Books

Since the sole focus of today’s post is my literary year, it will be a rare positive verdict on 2016.  Obviously it has been significant for me as the year my debut novel was published  – I will always look back on the launch of Paris Mon Amour as one of the happiest moments of my life.  … Continue reading

Guest Author – Wytske Versteeg on Writing about Motherhood

Today’s guest and her novel represent things I believe in and want to support on the Literary Sofa.  Wytske Versteeg is a Dutch author, whose third novel The Boy has recently been translated into English by Sarah Welling and released in the UK by small independent HopeRoad Publishing.  The Boy made it into my new quarterly Sofa … Continue reading

Good Sex Night at Waterstones Gower Street

When I sit down to write a sex scene – and there is certainly no shortage of them in my debut novel Paris Mon Amour – I don’t think about it.  I get the characters in a room and let things take their course. And to me that is a less daunting prospect than it … Continue reading

Guest Author – Saleem Haddad on Shelving the ‘Gay Novel’

Some of the best books I’ve ever read could be designated ‘gay novels’ and yet it’s a term that raises a lot of questions and one I hesitate to use. It’s something I’ve wanted to examine for a long time, so I am delighted that Saleem Haddad, author of superb debut novel Guapa, one of … Continue reading

Writers on Location – Fiona Melrose on Suffolk

Thanks to everyone for the enthusiastic response to my first quarterly Sofa Spotlight last week.  It’s always gratifying to hear my selections described as ‘intriguing’ and ‘unpredictable’  – that’s the aim – and that readers have discovered books they’d never heard of.  As mentioned, I’ll be hosting at least four of my Spotlight authors on … Continue reading