• NZ Booklovers

Interview: Patricia Donovan talks about The Madison Gap


Patricia Donovan is the author of the historical novel, The Remarkable Miss Digby, and her new novel has just published, The Madison Gap. Patricia talks to NZ Booklovers.


Tell us a little about The Madison Gap

The Madison Gap is a contemporary drama, set in Sydney, which tells the story of Lexi Madison who’s living her dream life with her husband Conor. When her older sister Chrissy comes to stay, Lexi’s world starts to unravel as dark family secrets are revealed, and she learns how insidiously truth can be perverted, and that exposing those secrets can drive a person to the brink of murder. It’s a tense and ultimately explosive story of a young woman’s awakening.


What inspired you to write this book?

A friend mentioned to me that one in twenty-five Americans is a sociopath. That chilling statistic, that so many outwardly ordinary people are actually sociopathic, came from a book called The Sociopath Next Door, by Martha Stout. I went on to read this book myself and was both repelled and fascinated by what Stout had to say. I began macabrely imagining what it would be like to find myself sitting across the table from a sociopath. Would I know?


This led me to thinking about bullies and how prevalent bullying has become. Bullying is pernicious and insidious. By the time you’re aware that it’s a bully you are dealing with, it’s often too late to safely extricate yourself, you are already worn down by the tyranny and it can take years to recover. I wanted to explore this.


If a soundtrack was made to accompany this book, name a song or two you would include.

· Celine Dion – That’s The Way It Is

· Dana Winner – One Moment in Time


If your book was made into a movie, who would you like to see playing the lead characters?

My story is set in Australia and given the Aussies make terrific movies – the work of Easy Tiger Productions in Sydney comes to mind – I’d trust them completely with the casting.


What did you enjoy the most about writing this novel?

· Letting my characters get a few things off my chest for me, not only about bullying, but also about the urgent need to curb our use of plastic.

· Reacquainting myself with inner Sydney, and Glebe in particular.


What is the favourite book you have read recently and why?

Javier Marías’ trilogy called Your Face Tomorrow. My favourite writers are those who explore the human condition and no one does this better right now than Marías. He studied philosophy as well as literature and this illuminates all his novels. I find his writing rich and addictive.


What’s next on the agenda for you?

I hope to find a publisher for my third novel, The Collections. This is a dystopian story set in Christchurch which explores the population explosion, and questions of death and euthanasia. I’m also mulling over a trilogy of crime stories.


Mary Egan Publishing