Sarah Lotz on Why She Writes – And Pompidou Posse


The first novel that Sarah Lotz wrote – Pompidou Posse – is being re-released in the UK – I asked Sarah about why she writes (love this answer) and about the book – here is what she had to say.

Why we Write

Sarah Lotz


I wish I had a clear-cut answer for why I write. It’s not for money (there are far easier and more reliable ways of making a living), or fame (I can’t even do twitter properly – thank god for book bloggers!), so I suppose the reason I write is because I am as mad as a snake, and because I love it – I’m addicted to it, in fact. Life-style wise, it suits my personality. I like being alone in a room in my pjs for days – and sometimes weeks – at a time. There’s something deliciously terrifying about starting a novel and having absolutely no idea where it’s going to end up or if it’s going to work. And I only ever know if a novel is any good or not after it’s been out for a while.

For example, my first novel, Pompidou Posse has just been re-released in the UK. Based on a year I spent living rough on the streets of Paris when I was a teenager in the 1980s, I wrote it almost ten years ago, and it was first published in South Africa where it received good reviews but only three or four readers (most of whom were related to me). Thanks to Jared Shurin of – who is a great supporter of South African fiction – my brilliant Hodder editor Anne Perry read it and decided to re-publish it, and I was given the chance to go over it again and edit it out the crappy bits. I’m not sure that writers should ever be allowed to go back and edit their earlier work, as part of me thinks that this is cheating, but I did it anyway. Some appalling writing slipped through the net the first time around (my favourite bad line is ‘sorry, she said apologetically’ – cringe cringe). But it was fascinating, if painful, to revisit the novel and see how I’ve hopefully improved as a writer. So I suppose that’s another reason why I write: to get better at doing something I love. And because it keeps me out of trouble.

Thank you Sarah – although I’m not sure on the out of trouble thing! I’m intrigued to read the novel now and I’m sure everyone else is too so here are the details:


Paris is eternal. Art is love. Friendship is forever. Except when it isn’t.

You’re seventeen. One night, more or less by accident, you set fire to a garden shed.

Naturally, you pack up and run off to Paris, certain you can make enough money off your art to get by. You’re young, you’re talented, you’re full of life, and you have your best friend in all the world by your side.

What could possibly go wrong?

Down and Out in Paris and London for the internet era, POMPIDOU POSSE is the hilarious, heartbreaking first novel by Sarah Lotz, author of THE THREE.

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Happy Reading  Folks!

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One Response to Sarah Lotz on Why She Writes – And Pompidou Posse

  1. Steph says:

    Another I need to read, thanks Liz

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