Stephanie Scott

Posted by Sue Leonard on Sunday 21st June 2020

A lifelong book lover, Stephanie started writing poetry at University. Studying for a PhD, and needing funds, she secured a job with Lehmann Brothers on a graduate programme.

“But I was headhunted before the bank fell. I went to Liongate, then to GAM.”

After five years in finance, she was offered a Vice President position, but instead, went to Oxford University to study writing.

“My poor father was shouting down the phone when he heard.”

The debut was inspired by a newspaper article.

“I wondered if you could love someone and then kill them.”

Stephanie conducted a great deal of research in Japan, attending a trial, visiting all the book’s locations, looking at wedding venues, and shopping for family tombs.

“I researched and wrote simultaneously. I took time to accumulate knowledge on Japanese Law.”

A prize-winning poet, Stephanie explored all different genres of writing.

“This included radio drama. I like to stretch myself.”

Early drafts of her manuscript won prizes, there were 23 agents interested, and she received a pre-empt offer from America 24 hours after submission. The book has sold to eight language territories. 

Who is Stephanie Scott? 

Date of birth: Singapore. In 1983.

Education:  Benenden in England; York University, English. Cambridge University, M Phil in Renaissance Literature; Oxford University. MA in Creative Writing.

Home: London. “My parents are in Singapore.”

Family: Husband, Tom O’Callaghan.

The Day Job: Fulltime writer

In Another Life: “I’d love to be a ballerina.”

Favourite Writers: Maggie O’Farrell; Donna Tartt; Tolstoy; Matsuo Kirano; Sayaka Mrota; Han Kang; Kazuo Ishiguro.

Second Novel: “It’s inspired by my family’s experience in Asia during the second world war. It’s very much in the early stages.”

Top Tip: Persevere. And believe in your project.

Website: www.stephaniescott     Twitter: @Stephaniewscott

The Debut: What’s left of me is yours. W&N: €16.99.  Kindle: €5.38. 

When Sato wants a divorce, he hires an agent to have an affair with his wife, Rina. When the two fall in love, a series of violent acts ensue. This haunts Rina’s daughter, Sumiko. This sensational debut, told from two alternating viewpoints, asks where we draw the line between passion and possession. 


The Verdict: This debut is a triumph! It’s a beautifully paced, spellbinding love story which brilliantly depicts Japan and its people.


Published on 6th June in the Irish Examiner.

© Sue J Leonard. 2020

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