Writing anything is no mean feat. Believe me, I’ve been stressing over how to start this piece for 20 minutes. Naturally, the concept of crafting a novel from an embryonic idea to a completed body of work has forever felt like a herculean undertaking, only possible to paragons of commitment, vision and imagination.
Here at Upside Down Shark, we’re lucky enough to be based in the literary hotbed of South East England, a place in which the works of Geoffrey Chaucer and H.G. Wells are intrinsically woven into the tapestry of the community. It’s encouraging to see that this legacy lives on in the writers of today, and we think that’s definitely something to celebrate
We sat down with one such author – friend of the show Hannah R. Palmer to discuss her debut novel Number 47, her influences and of course, sharks…
UDS: Who is Hannah R. Palmer?
Hannah: Hannah R. Palmer is a 27 year old who lives in Folkestone, Kent. She’s into basically anything creative, except for dancing – that she can’t stand. She loves horror and thrillers and banana bread and cactuses. She finds it increasingly odd to speak about herself in the third person, so she’ll stop now.
UDS: Tell us a bit about Number 47?
Hannah: Number 47 is about the darker elements of the human personality, the animalistic qualities that we spend every day squashing and hiding. It’s about letting loose those feelings and desires and that’s what I did with the main character of Number 47 – I let her decide her fate and let her raw emotions and motives rule the story.
UDS: Who are your biggest literary influences?
Hannah: Neil Gaiman for sure. Neverwhere was one of the first novels I truly fell in love with and his Ted Talk on climbing your own mountain and imposter syndrome speaks volumes. There’s also a slightly smaller author – Kate Hamer – who’s writing is truly poetic. Her second novel, The Doll Funeral, is so atmospheric and one of those that stays with you for days after you’ve finished reading it. I highly recommend her if you’ve not checked out her work before.
UDS: What do you get up to when you’re not writing?
Hannah: Too much other stuff! When I’m not writing, I’m usually either singing in local Folkestone band The Calaveras, or I’m playing netball in our local club.
UDS: As we ask all our guests, what’s your favourite shark?
Hannah: Whale shark! Because they’re massive and stunning and I find them mesmerising.
UDS: Where can people pick up Number 47?