Authors on Snacks: Steff Penney

Does creativity have a taste? And, if it does, is it salty or sweet?

January Magazine’s “Authors on Snacks” is not meant to be a judgment. Rather, it’s a personal peek at what some of our most beloved authors nibble on while pushing forward on their latest work.

This time out we chat with filmmaker and writer Steff Penney. Penney’s debut novel, The Tenderness of Wolves, won the 2006 Costa Book Awards and The Book-of-the-Month Club First Fiction Award. Her latest book, Under A Pole Star, was published on September 5th.

What do you snack on while writing?
I don’t really snack while working — although I do work while eating lunch, so perhaps that’s the same thing. I’m very fond of the avocado on toast trend — a vegetable that tastes like it can’t be good for you has my vote.

Do you consider yoAuthors on Snacksur snacking to be mostly under control or mostly out of control?
Totally under control until I get my hands on black pepper crisps – the combination of salt and grease makes me act like an addict.

Latest book:
Under A Pole Star (Quercus)


Tell us about the book:
It’s about a female arctic explorer at the end of the 19th century. Flora Mackie is a whaler’s daughter from Dundee who struggles through social barriers to become an explorer in her own right. What started out as a tale of rivalry and the corrupting nature of ambition became a love story, but one that allowed me to give full rein to my obsession with ice and snow.

It was an incredible journey for me, and quite unexpected, but I think it’s the best thing I’ve done.

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