Interview with Daisy Buchanan ahead of our event on 15th May:
Which five women dead or alive (apart from your sisters) would you like to hang out with, and what activity would you do?
Oooh, if I’m allowed to make some of them fictional, I’m going to say Abbi and Ilana from Broad City, Lizzie Bennett, Tamsin Grieg, Olivia Coleman aaaaaand…maybe Bridget Jones. I would like to spend a long afternoon with them in an extremely quiet London pub with unlimited white wine and chips.
Your first book was titled ‘How To Be A Grown Up’; what are your top three tips?!
Absolutely NO-ONE has their **** together, we’re all pretending with varying degrees of success – keep that in your heart, it’s very soothing!
Kindness and generosity are the most important qualities to look for in your friends, your partners and yourself. Be as generous as you can afford to be – with time and love as well as money – and make sure that generosity begins with you. Think of yourself in a loving way.
Exercise is not a cruel trick invented by sadistic PE teachers. I resisted this forever, but everything feels a little bit better after you’ve made yourself sweat on purpose.
What led you to write The Sisterhood?
I love books about sisters and the relationships women have with each other – P&P, Ballet Shoes, I Capture The Castle, everything Curtis Sittinfeld and Nancy Mitford have ever written – and it occurred to me that a lot of my childhood felt like a Nancy Mitford novel – six young women experiencing all of the emotions, all of the time, in a big house that was half falling down.
Favourite agony aunt question ever received at Grazia?
Someone wrote to me to tell me that her sister was being awful about her bridesmaids duties at her upcoming wedding – it made me think very hard about how difficult it can be when something wonderful is happening to someone you love, and not you. I think we all need to be much more honest about the way women are constantly made to compare their lives with their peers, and how this is crushing and destructive. I’m frequently jealous, envious and miserable and knowing I’m not alone in this makes me deal with it in a much saner way!
What advice would you give to aspiring journalists?
Read everything you can get your hands on, and remember it takes a long time to get started. People often want to take me for coffee and ‘pick my brains’ – and they expect me to condense my ten year career into a handy hour – there aren’t any shortcuts! Nora Ephron’s journalism collection, Scribble Scribble, is a masterclass in how to find the sweet spot of a story – Joan Didion’s work too, with her near clinical level of detail. And writing your own stories is difficult – I think lot of people want to start with memoir and personal essays, but you need to spend time learning how to tell stories about other people and places before you can think about telling your own.