Last year was an extraordinary one for Ruth Hogan – her debut, The Keeper of Lost Things, was published in January 2017 and became a word-of-mouth hit, a Nielsen Silver Bestseller and the best-selling ebook across the whole of 2017. In all, it sold over half a million copies.
Ruth came to serious writing after a car accident in her early 30s meant she could not work full time in her senior local government position. So she worked part-time as a receptionist and devoted the rest of her time to writing.
She says, ‘It was all going well, but then in 2012 I got cancer, which was bloody inconvenient but precipitated an exciting hair journey from bald to a peroxide blonde Annie Lennox crop. When chemo kept me up all night I passed the time writing, and the eventual result was The Keeper of Lost Things.’
Ruth will mainly be talking about her new book, The wisdom of Sally Red Shoes.
‘I live in a chaotic Victorian house with an assortment of rescue dogs and my long-suffering husband,’ Ruth says. ‘I spend all my free time writing or thinking about it and have notebooks in every room so that I can write down any ideas before I forget them. I am a magpie; always collecting treasures (or ‘junk’ depending on your point of view) and a huge John Betjeman fan. My favourite word is antimacassar and I still like reading gravestones.’