Stef Penney was born and grew up in Edinburgh. After earning a degree in philosophy and theology from Bristol University, she turned to filmmaking, studying film and TV at Bournemouth College of Art. On graduation she was selected for the Carlton Television New Writers Scheme.
Her debut novel, The Tenderness of Wolves, was an international bestseller and received the prestigious Costa Award. She is also a screenwriter. Her second novel, The Invisible Ones, was published in January 2012.
This biography was last updated on 01/04/2012.
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In two separate interviews Stef Penney discusses The Tenderness of Wolves and The Invisible Ones
Questions for Stef Penney from Tana French
I've never been a believer in the whole "write what you know" thing. I think it negates imagination and empathy, which are probably the two most crucial qualities for a writer, and I think it's especially pointless for mystery writers - what, you shouldn't write a murder mystery unless you've actually killed someone? But you go deeper into unknown territory than most, especially most in the crime genre. Is that a deliberate choice? Do you feel a pull toward exploring stuff that's very far from your own experience? Or is that just the way the ideas come up?
SP: I definitely do feel a pull toward people and places that are far from my own life. Whenever I pick up a book I think, "Tell me something I don't know." Because I work quite slowly, I have to keep myself interested over a long research and writing period. So I can't see myself writing about modern middle-class Londoners anytime soon. But, then, you never know . . .
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