|Link to the Goodreads page|
It was a big relief when I realised I had a Q for this challenge - it was one of the first letters I had, to be honest - are you jealous?
Suzannah Dunn has been a huge influence on me. Before she started writing historical novels, she wrote quite dark contemporary novels. Her first publication was a novella called Darker Days Than Usual - although I can't remember what it's about, I read it a long time ago! What I do remember is that it was published by Serpent's Tail, which was a publisher I thought was perfect for me, because they published Suzannah Dunn. I remember it was 20,000 words long - and again, that seemed perfect. (I was going to link to Serpent's Tail, but they don't seem to mention her on their web site anymore... there's a lesson to us all!)
Then I read an interview where she described Quite Contrary, a novel of 56,000 words. If you're just passing through for the A-Z Challenge, you won't be aware that I write too short (I've also mentioned it here) and I'm obsessed with word count, so this in itself was reason enough for me to be interested. And then, by chance, I found it in a bookshop and bought it.
I've actually read this book several times. I like the quiet thoughtfulness, the rhythm of her voice, the speech patterns. I love the timeshifts, and how each new memory alters the reader's perspective, and also the main character's perception of her childhood. If you like a lot of action in your fiction, this might not be the book for you, but if you enjoy exploring a character's erm... character, then check it out, and - as always - please let me know what you think!