Natasha Pulley

Posted by Sue Leonard on Wednesday 19th August 2015

After university Natasha taught English in China; then she worked, briefly, in Waterstones before joining Cambridge University Press as a publishing assistant. She left there to take up an MA in creative writing, and whilst there, she finished a draft of her debut.

“The novel began as a series of short stories. I had written some in my second year at Oxford. One of them, was the first chapter of the book. Mori came to the page fully formed. My first line was, ‘Keita Mori could remember the future.’”

Graduating from UEA in 2012, Natasha spent a year editing the book with the help of her agent, Jenny Savill. She also penned her second  novel, then it was off to Japan for eighteen months on a scholarship from the Daiwa Japanese Foundation.

Who is Natasha Pulley

Date of birth: 4th December, 1988, in Cambridge.

Education: Soham Village College: Hill’s Road for Sixth form: New College, Oxford University; English language and literature: University of East Anglia; MA in Creative Writing.

Home:  Soham, near Cambridge.

Family: Mum and Dad and younger brother.

The Day Job:  Fulltime writer.

Interests:  Japanese. The history of science. “I can’t do science or maths, but the history is really interesting.”

Favourite Writers: Robin Hobb; Neil Gaiman.

Second Novel:  The Bedlan Stacks. “It’s set in 1859, and it’s  a kind of prequel to the debut. Mori features in it as a small boy, but it’s really about a botanist.”

Top Writing Tip: Write what you are interested in and what you want to write. There are people who can decide to write for a specific market, but most people would die inside if they tried.

Twitter: @natasha_pulley

The Debut: The Watchmaker of Filigree Street. Bloomsbury Circus: €19.50.   Kindle: €10.57.

It’s 1883, and Thaniel Steepleton, a Home Office telegraphist is saved from a bomb blast by his pocket watch. He seeks out the watchmaker Keita Mori, and is soon subsumed into a bizarre world of invention, mingled with music. Meanwhile Grace Carrow, a theoretical physicist is fighting her parent’s plan to get her married off. When the lives of the characters intertwine, chaos ensues. The book blends historical events with clever flights of fancy.

The Verdict: An Inventive debut; clever, intriguing, and astonishingly assured.


Published by The Irish Examiner on August 8th, 2015 

© Sue Leonard. 2015

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