The books that inspired my novel 'Olive'
Personal essays on being child-free, old-school self-help & a novel-writing guide, the reading material that inspired my first novel
I wasn’t consciously ‘researching a novel’ when I started formulating the idea for Olive. I was simply a woman curious about the child-free life; thinking about what it meant to turn thirty without wanting a baby, and was interested in reading more about the choices women were making in this current world we’re in, in both work and life. I am a writer because I am a reader; I don’t think I could be one without the other. Reading non-fiction books on the subject (and interviewing women) helped inform my novel, because I didn’t want it to be just about me. I didn’t want it to be just a thinly veiled memoir wrapped up in a commercial fictional package.
So, here are some of the books I read between 2018-2019 when I was writing and editing my first drafts (that would turn into Olive, published in 2020). As I continue working on my second novel, I realise more and more that what we consume ends up making it into our work. We are always being influenced in some way. Therefore what we consume is important, and so is following our curiosity.