An Interview with Angela Chadwick
XX is the debut novel by Angela Chadwick. It is the story of a lesbian couple who take part in a groundbreaking clinic trial that enables two women to have a baby together and how the world reacts. It has been shortlisted for the Polari First Book Prize 2019.
In this interview, she talks to Abigail Jaggers of Listening Books about the idea for ovum-to-ovum fertilisation in XX, the impact of media sensationalism and populist politics, and listening to the audiobook of her own novel.
Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your novel, XX?
The idea for XX came to me in an A Level biology lesson about twenty years ago
One of the main characters in your novel, Jules, works as a journalist, but she also suffers directly at the hands of some journalists.
Having a main character who was a reporter and who feels the conflict first hand was really useful to explore that
Did you want to show the effect of media sensationalism in the novel?
Your job is to sell papers and sometimes that trumps any commitment you might have to certain values or to the truth
Some of the politics in the novel sounds very realistic. Was it impacted by current politics?
I felt like I was living in a novel. It felt so farfetched, I couldn’t quite believe what was happening!
What inspired you to take family as such a central motif throughout the book?
The terms ‘biological clock’ get bandied around at you!
The relationship between Rosie and Jules feels so vivid and real. Did you think of both characters together, or did they come to you separately?
I really wanted to create a lesbian couple who were just really grounded and show what the dynamics of a very long term relationship look like.
Did you want to write something different than the typical ‘coming out’ story for a lesbian couple?
We read a lot of love stories, and first love stories, and beginnings of affairs
What was it like hearing the audiobook of XX?
It feels almost like listening to someone read your diaries!
What are you working on now?
I’ve been ploughing away slowly at book two!
Thank you very much to Angela Chadwick for speaking to us!
To find out more about Angela or XX visit her website www.angelachadwick.co.uk.