In Natasha Carthew’s raw, uncompromising and intensely lyrical first adult novel All Rivers Run Free, we encounter a brittle young woman called Ia Pendilly, who lives with her brutal common-law husband in a caravan on the Cornish coast. When Ia finds an abandoned waif washed up on the shore, she makes a precarious break for freedom and reinvention.

Where are you now?

In my three-sided writing cabin. I built it out of scraps of wood a few years ago and have written all my books there.

Where and when do you do most of your writing?

In my cabin when writing chapters, but I do a lot of creative writing in the fields and woods that surround my cottage.

If you have one, what is your pre-writing ritual?

Grind coffee beans and filter them into a tin mug, it takes time and concentrates the mind.

Full-time or part-time?


Pen or keyboard?


How do you relax when you’re writing?

Writing is the only thing where I’m truly relaxed. I have ADHD, so writing helps me focus.

How would you pitch your latest book in up to 25 words?

I think this quote from Rachel Holmes says it all: “Raw, passionate, hallucinatory. Reading All Rivers Run Free was to be lured by an edgy siren voice of fierce womanhood.”

Who do you write for?


Who do you share your work in progress with?


Which literary character do you wish you created?

Vernon Little (Vernon God Little by DBC Pierre).

Share with us your favourite line/s of dialogue, poetry or prose.

‘Self-Pity’ by D.H. Lawrence
I never saw a wild thing
sorry for itself.
A small bird will drop frozen dead from a bough
without ever having felt sorry for itself.

Bastard_Out_of_CarolinaWhich book do you wish you’d written?

Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison.

Which book/s have you most recently read and enjoyed?

The Short Day Dying by Peter Hobbs.

What’s on your bedside table or e-reader?


Which books do you feel you ought to have read but haven’t yet?

If there’s a book I want to read I’ll read it, if there isn’t I won’t. Guilt should never come into it, only pleasure and knowledge.

Which book/s do you treasure the most?

My Cormac McCarthy collection.

What is the last work you read in translation?


Which story collections would you particularly recommend?

Burning Bright by Ron Rash.

What are you reading next?

The next edit for my new YA book Only The Ocean which publishes with Bloomsbury in November 2018.

What are you working on next?

My new adult book.

Imagine you’re the host of a literary supper, who would your dinner guests be (living or dead, real or fictional)?

I’d invite everyone and see who turns up, but would also swap the supper part for a beach BBQ.

If you weren’t writing you’d be…?



Author portrait © Evelyn KyneNatasha Carthew has been published previously as a poet and young adult writer and her books have been nominated for the Carnegie Award and shortlisted for several national awards. She lives in Cornwall’s Tamar Valley with her girlfriend of twenty years. Her identity as a country writer has led her to become a survival expert, a trained walking-guide and to teach Wild Writing workshops. All Rivers Run Free is published by riverrun in hardback and eBook.
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Author portrait © Evelyn Kyne