Pip Drysdale is one very cool lady. Why? Because she's brave enough to live her passion as an author, musician and actor. How many of us want to wake up in the morning and do what we love, but just don't have the chutzpah to actually do it?
Pip grew up in Africa, Canada and Australia and then followed her dreams in New York and London. Her debut novel, The Sunday Girl, was a bestseller and has been published in the United States, Australia, Italy, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. The Strangers We Know was a bestseller, shortlisted for The Ned Kelly Award, and is being developed for television, and The Paris Affair was also a bestseller. Her fourth book, The Next Girl, is out in Australia and NZ in November 2022.
If you haven't had a chance to read a Pip Drysdale novel, now is the time. They're modern, thrilling and absolute page turners.
At Sensoriam, we were lucky enough to interview Pip, and take her through a natural perfume journey to help her find her signature natural perfume scent. One Seed Courage was her choice. "I love One Seed Courage because it makes me feel fragile and strong simultaneously."
ALL ABOUT PIP DRYSDALE
1. Have you always wanted to be a writer? How did you come to the craft?
I've always been a storyteller, but I came to writing novels in 2015 after spending time as a singer-songwriter and actress first. I can't explain why one day I felt compelled to make the switch to novels - all I know is once I started, I couldn't stop.
3. How has your time as an actress and singer/songwriter contributed to you as a writer?
I think all our experiences inform how we view the world and what kind of work we put out. So for me, my time acting means I am drawn to writing first person narratives. Similarly, having written so many songs means that when I write prose, I experience language sonically and I'm sure that impacts my turn of phrase. The rhythm of my work.
4. What was it like writing your very first novel? Where did you find the inspiration?
It was hard, amazing, exciting, terrifying and it taught me a lot about both myself and writing. I think the same could probably be said of every book I've written though. Because every book is different, they all require something new from you - I'm always learning. As for inspiration, I don't get my ideas from one place - it's like the world comes at me and I synthesise a lot of different stimuli into something that, for whatever reason, I find compelling and want to write about. Or rather, it feels more like I need to write about it.
5. Talk me through the experience of getting your first book deal?
I'd written my first draft and worked on it with an external editor, then I posted something on Instagram about getting up early to write every morning. Someone I'd met twice asked what I was working on. I told her and she asked to see the first chapter - she was looking for someone to ghostwrite her book. I showed it to her, she asked me to ghostwrite for her, and then passed my chapter on to a friend of hers who worked at a publishing house. Fast forward a few months and a lot of work, and I got a two book deal! It really felt like the stars lined up for me with that one.
6. How has becoming a successful writer changed your life?
I get to write full time (as opposed to having a day job too) which is great, but aside from that nothing has changed. I still wake up and put on coffee and write every morning. That's what is most important to me: that I have time to write, that I'm happy and healthy and loved, and that my books are finding their readers.
7. What is it about your books that people fall in love with?
Hmmm, it'd probably be better to ask my readers that question, but I can take stab at it. First and foremost, it's probably because my books are fun to read - I get a lot of emails from people saying that they thought they hated reading and then they picked up one of my books and now they've read them all. A lot of emails saying thank you for that. I can only put this down to the fact that when I write, I see the scenes like a movie in my mind and then recreate them on the page. So reading my novels is kind of like going to the movies or binge-watching a TV show, except it's all in written form. So fun.
8. If introducing yourself to someone for the first time, how would you describe the type of books you write?
I write thrillers, but they're not your general thriller - they're scary, yes, but there is also always a contemporary love story running through them. I also incorporate technology, social media and contemporary issues because my books are set now, so how could I not? As a result, they appeal to both thriller readers, as well as people who generally read Colleen Hoover, Taylor Jenkins Reid, Sally Rooney and Caroline Kepnes.
9. You mention that when you are developing a character you think about the type of perfume they would wear. Would love to hear more about this process of yours?
Well, I think about the character and what she might like and then I find her a scent. I spray myself with it every morning when I write her. It helps to put me back in touch with who she is and what she wants and why. It serves as a sense memory hook.
10. What style of perfume do you personally wear and love?
I love Chanel and Kilian perfumes, but I have been known to blind-buy perfumes simply for their name!
11. What does perfume mean to you?
I love perfume. It has this magical, elusive quality to it, that transforms the mundane into something amazing.
12. What’s your dream for the future.
Hmmm.... pretty much the same as every other author I guess: I want to keep writing books, I want them all to be massively successful, end up on every bestseller list, get made into TV shows, for me to get to write on those TV shows and to live somewhere long enough to get a pet! Like I said, pretty much the same as every author!
Pip Drysdale's favourite Sensoriam Scent – One Seed Courage.