Rebecca Alexander

View Reviews of books by Rebecca Alexander

Countdown with ...

Rebecca Alexander

Rebecca Alexander was born in Malta but grew up on the south coast of England. She was brought up on an eclectic mix of long family walks around historic landscapes and rainy afternoons reading. She wrote books through her teens, finishing her first one at 19.

After studying psychology she worked in palliative care and hospices, listening to the stories of people facing death. She was widowed young and remarried, and the new family has six children, all home-educated, which only allowed time for writing short stories and poetry.

Rebecca took a year off to do a master’s degree in creative writing in Winchester and wrote two books. The first was a runner-up in the inaugural Mslexia novel prize in 2011 and was renamed The Secrets of Life and Death (Del Rey UK). The second (A Baby’s Bones) came second in the 2012 Yeovil novel prize and was published by Titan (2018).

Rebecca lives in a fishing village by the sea in Devon with her cats and second husband, and is dragged back into the past every time she writes. She likes haunted houses, unusual crimes and quirky characters, which explains her affection for her children.

Interviewed 12 October 2019

Ten words to sum up your working life to date ...

Swapped psychology for crime writing, while haunted by the past.

Nine things you can see from where you're sitting ...

Instow beach, across the river
The two halves of my crocodile bookends
Piles of notes for the new book
People walking their dogs along the quay
Oystercatchers on the sand banks at low tide
Puddles reflecting the grey, June sky
The blue stapler that I had at college and doesn’t work properly
Boats leaning on the mud, waiting for the tide to lift them

Eight minutes to prepare a meal. What's it going to be ?

Rick Stein’s spicy scrambled eggs: onion, chillies and tomatoes cooked in a pan with ground cumin and pepper, fresh coriander and eggs scrambled in at the end, served with slices of fresh ginger and a poppadom.

Seven people you'd like to go for a drink with ...

The Dalai Lama, Eddie Izzard, Sandi Toksvig, Barack Obama, Emma Thompson, Billy Collins and George Butterworth. Not all at the same time.

Six things you can't live without ...

Our dodgy old caravan, cats, the sea, classical music, dark chocolate, my people.

Five favourite words ...

Catastrophic, bizarre, indubitably, solstice, scabbard.

Four places you'd run away to ...

The New Forest
Barbara Hepworth’s studio garden in St Ives in Cornwall.
Venice with my friend Judith.
Hawkshead in the Lake District.

Three books you've bought recently ...

Started Early, Took My Dog by Kate Atkinson.
The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne.
Insidious Intent by Val McDermid.

Two things that make you rant ...

People who don’t pick up after their dogs.
The decline in independent bookshops.

One thing you'd tell your teenage self ...

You don’t have to do everything at once, you can reinvent yourself every few years.