Sofie Laguna- author of The Choke

Author Q&As

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


I was inspired to write the book after watching Nick Broomfield’s documentary about Aileen Wuournos who was executed in 2002. Wuournos was known as one of America’s most notorious serial killers – but the documentary did not sensationalize her story in any way. It described the childhood she had endured, and I was so outraged by the injustice of it I felt compelled to give that thirteen-year-old that Aileen once was, a voice. As my writing unfolded, however, it became clear that I was telling a completely different story, with its own protagonist - Justine. Justine was Australian, and she lived in Victoria, in a town near the Murray River.


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


I would like to read a wonderful book called I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith. It’s about a seventeen-year-old girl who tells the story of her eccentric family through her journal. It is romantic and imaginative and I remember absolutely disappearing into it, which is the kind of reading experience I always long for.


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


I would like to have dinner with Virginia Woolfe, Dylan Thomas, Alan Ginsberg, Sara Teasdale, Flannery O’Connor, Izumi, Shikibu, Rilke, Christina Rosetti, Keats and Edgar Allen Poe. The list could actually go on and on. Can you imagine that night? Madness or delight, who knows?


What’s in your reading pile now?


Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng, a book of quotes for artists, various children’s books including the Berenstein’s Christmas and Marmaduke Duck (I have a three-year-old and a seven-year-old), To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolfe, plus a guide to good health by Deepak Chopra.


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


I don’t think so – hidden passions maybe, but no, not talents!


Can you tell us what you are working on now?


I am one of those people who can’t possibly say what they are working on. Until it’s 99% done, then I can talk. Then it’s safe. Until then  - my lips are sealed!