With over one hundred stories and serials published in the UK and overseas, Elizabeth McGregor is a seasoned and well-reviewed English author who made her American debut with The Ice Child, an epic novel that journey's into the heart of the Arctic. By delving into the historical intrigue of Sir John Franklin's infamous adventure, McGregor ventured in a new direction, departing the psychological thrillers that have been her mainstay.
In previous incarnations, McGregor worked as "a hopelessly bored but solvent civil servant, a happy but frequently overdrawn teacher, and an utterly ineffective and very nearly bankrupt antiques dealer." She has also written several scripts for television. She is married with one daughter and lives in the Blackmore Vale in Dorset.
She also writes under the names, Elizabeth Cook and Holly Fox.
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A Conversation with Elizabeth McGregor, author of The Ice Child
What first got you interested in writing fiction?
I always loved books. They held such glamour and excitement--and a kind of special secrecy--for me, I wanted to be part of that. Opening a book is like opening someone's front door. I wanted to invite people into my life. I once heard an author described as "being loved by people she had never met". I thought that was incredible.
Did you base any of this novel on your own life experiences?
A whole series of personal changes set The Ice Child in motion. I had already decided that I wanted to write a different kind of book to the psychological thrillers that had gone before. Then, in the two months before I began to write, events took a more serious turn. My marriage ended, I had to move house, and my mother became ill very suddenly, and died.
So this theme of getting through the dark, on an unmapped route--like the ones travelled by both Augustus and Sam in The Ice Child--was also a very personal journey for me.
What got you interested in Sir John Franklin's expedition?
The setting was what first intrigued me. I was fascinated by the last few remaining wildernesses...
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