Novelist Clare Flynn’s next book was inspired by Sussex, specifically Cuckmere Haven where her mother’s ashes are scattered.

What is your favourite place in Sussex?

Cuckmere Haven. I love the walk down to the sea with the Downs behind and the river meandering beside me. I also find the relics of the Second World War fascinating and always think about how things could have been different if Hitler hadn’t called off the invasion in 1940. It was walking there that the idea for my next book came to me. It’s also a personally meaningful place as we scattered my mum’s ashes there.

What do you love most about living in Sussex?

The Downs and the sea. I can see both from my windows. I love the changing colours of the water and the sky. One of my schoolfriends used to call it “the grey-green chalky sea”. I am thinking of calling my new book The Chalky Sea.

What advice do you have for your 12-year-old self?

Start writing a book, don’t wait and don’t give up.

What is your most valued possession?

A notebook with the notes for my current book. I have a new notebook for each book and while I now have the manuscript backed up in the Cloud I couldn’t replace my research notes, musings and ideas.

What is your biggest regret?

Je ne regrette rien.

What is your biggest fear?

I’m not too thrilled about dying. Especially if it involves pain. And I have too much still to do. Lots more books to write.

What is your proudest achievement?

Holding my first novel in my hands

Which five people (living or dead) would you invite to your fantasy dinner party?

Michelle Obama, Napoleon Bonaparte, David Bowie, Tommy Cooper and Meryl Streep.

Anything else?

You can find out about my books on my website or on Facebook at or follow me on Twitter at