How Jill Alexander Essbaum writes

“I use a lot of puns and rhyme and wonky meter. When I was writing this book, whenever I sort of hit a wall I stopped trying to think with my head, I tried to think with my ears and tried to figure out how to change the sound and the rhythm [of what I was writing]. You can feel sound as well as hear it. I use that in poetry and I used it in moments in Hausfrau.”
[in an interview with ‘The Bookseller’ magazine, January 9, 2015]

Jill Essbaum


Jill Alexander Essbaum is a poet and for her, language and words hold immense power. Her first collection of poetry, Heaven, was published in 2000 and though she has dreamed of writing a novel, until Hausfrau she didn’t know what a novel might be about.

I always read my copy aloud, when I’m rewriting. It highlights any judders in the rhythm of the text, repetitions leap out, and it does help me to fine tune each sentence so it flows. Awareness of rhythm is beneficial to all writers, I think.

To read more of Jill Essbaum’s work, click here for her website.

Jill Essbaum


See how these other novelists write:-
Rose Tremain
JoJo Moyes
William Maxwell

‘Hausfrau’ by Jill Essbaum [UK: Mantle] Buy now

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Why poet & novelist Jill Essbaum always reads her copy aloud via @SandraDanby #amwriting