Thimbles of Bravery: Art, Animals and the Act of Creating Character

One of my favourite modern works of fiction is The Goldfinch, a Pulitzer Prize winning novel written by Donna Tartt. With art and animals (and even art about animals!) there’s no mystery why The Goldfinch spoke to me so deeply, and you may already be familiar with the 1654 painting by Carel Fabritius that gives the book its title. Slight yet significant, this artwork is very close to my heart. Although its official residence is in the Hague, I was incredibly fortunate to view it in person when it visited Scotland in 2016. With luck I hope I’ll get the chance to see The Goldfinch again during my lifetime, but I suspect this will be the only occasion when my number one painting actually flies

To Thine Own Self Be True: how autobiographical can a novel be?

‘What’s it about?’ That is the first question a person will ask when you tell them that you’re writing a novel. Of course, many writers choose to keep their work secret, and I can understand why (there’s no point in well-meaning friends planning your book launch when it feels like a decade will pass before you finish the damn thing!) But I can’t be coy when a quick google search leads straight to my writing-a-novel blog, so I’m doing my best to be bold if Pentimenti comes up in conversation. And if it does, people tend to ask the following question: ‘What’s it about?’ What’s it all about, Alfie? Well, Pentimenti is a novel about art, animals and a woman learning to live life on her own terms

© 2023 by EK. Proudly created with

  • LinkedIn Social Icon
  • Pinterest Social Icon
  • Instagram Social Icon