Five minutes with Jill Hopper – author of The Mahogany Pod

Posted on February 1, 2021

Jill Hopper has a background in newspaper journalism and magazine editing. A member of writers’ collective 26 Characters, she lives in London with her husband and son. The Mahogany Pod is her first book.


When did you start writing The Mahogany Pod?

In 2017. But really the book had been hovering for years, in the shape of diaries and letters. Once I started, the words poured out like they’d been waiting.

Where do you write? Do you have a routine? 

I’m very lucky – I’ve got my own study with a window overlooking the back garden. I write first thing in the morning, before doing anything else. If I put it off till later in the day, the moment passes.

Who most influenced you as a writer? 

I discovered Vera Brittain’s autobiography, Testament of Youth, when I was 12 and I’ve gone back to it again and again. It’s a unique book about WWI in that it gives a woman’s perspective; Brittain’s close friend, fiancé and brother were all killed.

What are you reading at the moment?

A fascinating and very funny book that my husband bought me for Christmas, called Life with Picassoby Françoise Gilot. Gilot tells all sorts of scurrilous stories about Picasso’s rages, sulks and penchant for keeping goats in the house…