Chris Womersley - author of City of Crows

Author Q&As

Tell us about your book – what inspired you to write it?

City of Crows is set in C17th France and is about a woman who turns to the occult in order to rescue her son, who has been abducted. I was drawn initially to the C17th in Europe because it is a fascinating period - a cusp between the medieval world and the modern, when people still believed thoroughly in magical things, even as science was making great advances in determining the truths of the universe and our place in it. I've used elements of the occult and the gothic in my work before and this was a chance to really immerse myself in ambiguities of belief in a more thorough way than ever before.


Which book would you want to read again for the first time?

A tough question, as there are so many books I have loved and that have made a great impression on me. Although it's certainly deeply unfashionable, I adored A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell when I first read it about seven or eight years ago - a 12-novel cycle of such great wisdom, humour and erudition - easily one of the most pleasurable reading experiences of my life. 


Which author/s living or dead would you like to have dinner with?

It might be good to get William Burroughs, Mary Shelley and Henry Miller together.


What’s in your reading pile now?

I'm looking forward to getting into Dyschronia by Jennnifer Mills and The Largesse of the Sea Maiden by Denis Johnson.


We know you are a talented writer, do you have any hidden talents?

I'm an excellent reverse parker and I make a delicious black sticky rice pudding.


Can you tell us what you are working on now?

I'm trying to decode the Voynich Manuscript.