Bestselling author Plum Sykes chats with Zibby (in person!) about WIVES LIKE US, a wickedly smart and impossibly funny novel about a grand English country house, a heartbroken American divorcee, three rich wives, two tycoons, a pair of miniature sausage dogs, and a bereaved butler. Plum describes her novel as a social satire that exposes the vulnerabilities and insecurities of rich women and their seemingly perfect lives. She also describes her writing process, her career evolution from Vogue It Girl to novelist, and the potential for a screen adaptation!


Zibby: Welcome, Phlum.

Thank you so much for coming on Moms Don't Have Time to Read Books to discuss your novel wives like us. Congratulations. 

Plum: Thank you so much, Zibby. I'm so excited to be here. 

Zibby: Oh, I'm so excited to have you. 

Plum: Because you know what? You're the micro Oprah, apparently. 

Don't you love that? 

Zibby: I love that. 

Plum: Hashtag micro Oprah.

Zibby: I had never heard that and I'll take it. Thank you. Appreciate it. 

Plum: Congratulations on your award. 

Zibby: Thank you.

Plum: Last night. 

Zibby: Thank you very much. 

Plum: Incredible. 

Zibby: Yes, big nights for both of us. Congratulations on publication day. So exciting. 

Plum: Thank you. Publication sort of pre day, which was yesterday. 

Zibby: Yeah. 

Plum: We had a party, and I don't really drink usually, and I said to Ewan, my brother in law, I'm gonna have two drinks tonight.

Do you know how many I had? 7, 000.

Which I never have a hangover, but I'm having so much fun in New York, I don't care. 

Zibby: It's okay. It's all right. This is great. This is an easy, uh, You know, hangover type place with the espresso machine at the ready. So there you go. Okay. Wives Like Us. 

Plum: Yeah. 

Zibby: Tell listeners what your book is about, please. 

Plum: So Wives Like Us is a social satire set in the English countryside.

It's a comedy of manners. It's all seen through the eyes of the executive butler, Ian, who we meet when the book opens, he's fast asleep in his cottage and the phone rings and it's his boss. Mrs. Hawkins. She's very excited because the new American who's just landed in the big estate next door is coming for dinner.

Very important to her because she's lost her social position. So the whole book is really a comedy about Tata trying to regain her social position and Ian Herbutler who would also like to regain his social position, and how is he gonna work it out? 

Zibby: It's amazing. 

Plum: Thank you so much. You're so sweet. 

Zibby: It's funny, and like, I feel like I got to take this great vacation, and then spying on everybody, like, kind of their worst, right, their most vulnerable, and like, what they really want, and admitting it.

Plum: Well, I think, the thing is, I think, whoever you're writing about or reading about, the important thing is, is whether you're the author or the reader, is to feel like, where's the humanity? 

Zibby: Mm hmm. 

Plum: So. Where's the emotion? Where's the insecurity? So all these, you know, beautiful, rich, glamorous women that we see all the time on Instagram or in the newspapers, whatever, with the beautiful country lifestyle.

Do you know what? A lot of that is driven by insecurity. And I wanted to write about that, but not, I didn't want to write a sort of, Oh no, a book about women's insecurity. I want to show it in a different way, in a fun way, you know, but it's just, it gives them that humanity. that we sometimes think rich people don't have all their lives perfect.

They have all the same problems as everyone else. They just have less money worries. 

Zibby: True. So where, so when, when did you, did something happen that was like, okay, this is the, the main writer. 

Plum: Yeah. I have lived in the Cotswolds and between London and Cotswolds for about 10 or 15 years. And I've written other books during that time, but In the last five years, or maybe a little bit longer than that, I started to notice that the English countryside was being invaded by very, very glamorous women.

Some of whom are from here. Sorry. From New York. No, I love that it was being invaded. Uh, so for example, Amanda Brooks, who was the, uh, fashion director of Barneys, she lands in the Cotswolds, she opens Derrion. No one's ever seen anything like it there, by the way. They used to go to Stowe to buy churned butter, do you know what I mean, and heavy cream milk, and things like that, and suddenly you can buy Ula Johnson.

And it was as though this, these sort of, I call them country princesses, had taken over, a bit like the Park Avenue princesses took over in the 90s when I wrote Vogue D'Or Blondes. Yes, which I loved, loved. This is Vogue D'Or Blondes. in the English countryside. I mean, literally. So I think that I, when I sort of see a social phenomenon around beautiful, interesting women, I think that's a little universe that I can mine and I can write about.

And, What, what's happened, because these women came in to this beautiful area of the English countryside, they started refashioning it to suit them. So it's got all the social intensity of London, all the pleasures of New York or Paris. Matthew Freud, who's this very famous media guy in England, he bought some huge estate in Burford, which is this very famous town.

And you know what he did? He, he bought, he bought a pub and put, turned it into an incredible sushi restaurant. Right? There is no farmer I know in the Cotswolds who's going to eat raw fish. So, but the clientele's there. So it's changed. So it's about what's happened to the English countryside, what's happened to the people, and it's become like the Hamptons.

Yeah, the New Hamptons. It's the New Hamptons. And the amount of Americans buying houses there, insane, and yeah, the traffic. There's traffic there now. 

Zibby: Uh oh.

Plum: I know. Not as much. Not as bad as Samantha's. 

Zibby: Oh my goodness. No. Well there are real, not to say that that's not real, these are all real issues, but there are real issues of infidelity and betrayal and longing and suspicion, like all of that in a lot of.

Plum: Marriage problems. 

Zibby: Yeah, exactly. 

Plum: Yeah. Yeah. 

Zibby: But yes, all of the things that people don't necessarily want to talk about, the suspicions they have, all of that. I mean, you have this hilarious scene where Tata's ex husband, not even ex, is living with this girlfriend. What's her name? Arabelle? Not Arabelle.

Plum: Tallulah. 

Zibby: Tallulah. Sorry. Tallulah. And the dog comes running into her dinner party, where she like wants everything to be perfect. Yeah. And then, like, her I mean, it's just so perfect, like the scenes, and how you can feel like your heart drop. 

Plum: Oh, good, good. I'm glad that happened to you. But then with it, because it's all comic, you're laughing as well.

Zibby: Oh, of course. No, no, no. 

Plum: That's what I'm always trying to give people, that laugh. Because I think the world is tough, and we need to laugh.

Zibby: That's lovely. That's a lovely gift. So when you construct these scenes, right, this is, especially this dinner party scene where everything is like leading up, the first, you know, the kitchen supper, the kitchen supper, supps, where you're allowed to wear whatever, and the American wears like, you know, actual riding clothes, but you're not really supposed to do that.

So there are all these rules. 

Plum: Very dressy, without telling you it's very dressy. So, room for error. 

Zibby: Room for error. And getting all the cast of characters together, because you develop so many different characters here. And yet. 

Plum: This is an ensemble cast. 

Zibby: Yes. Ensemble cast. What is the art to that? How did you do that?

Plum: Oh, so if you're doing a big scene like that with multiple characters, I think there's probably, you know, you, you, you're meant to feel that there's 30 people in the room. So it takes a really, really long time to write those scenes. And you have to, you start with. saying to yourself as the writer, what is going to happen in this scene in terms of story?

Okay, what we actually want to happen is we want Tata's dinner party is going to be ruined by the husband's girlfriend's doggy appearing. And actually the dog pees on one of the guest's legs as well. So that's, that's all that's going to happen. It's actually the plot point is A simple one, but it's a huge, it has a huge impact for the book.

So that's where you start, that's your kind of first post it note, if you like. And I actually use Scrivener, for anyone who's writing a book and wants to know. The best software for, do you use it? I don't. What? I don't. Do you use Word? Yeah. What? I know, sometimes even Google Docs. What? I know. I'm, I, tutorial coming.

Anyway, so that, you know, so what's the story? Right, what's the synopsis of this chapter? That's the first thing, so have it really clear in your head what is actually happening. Then start building, who are the characters? Where are they moving? Move them around the room like chess pieces and make sure you have a map of where they're standing literally because in that scene there's a there's a big scene at the beginning where all the guests are in the foyer and Tata appears on the balcony.

She walks down the stairs. She talks to different people. We see it from different points of view So that was a very complicated scene to write, and I think it actually took me several months to write it and rewrite it. Whereas there'd be other scenes that are two people, oh I'm so sorry, I'll take away the pen, I'll stop clicking it, there are other scenes which might be two people which are much more straightforward to write.

And it's just interesting, I think you can't start writing those giant ensemble scenes until you've written several books, until you've practiced and practiced at it. You need an editor to come in and look and go you moved that person from the corner But we don't know how they got outside plum. Do you see what I mean?

There's a lot of logistics that people don't think about and that's about being Into the micro detail of where everyone is in the room and even at the stage of the galley I was going back into that particular scene you're talking about and going Are we sure Lady Backhouse is standing next to Sir Reggie?

Okay, she's still standing next to him. She's still saying, Reggie, please keep your mouth shut when you're eating. Or whatever it is, you know. And then you can add all these bits of dialogue after you've got, where, where are the people, what are they doing? And you keep adding the dialogue and adding the jokes and it's layers and layers and layers.

It's not one, write it straight through. For me. 

Zibby: So, Some people may know you as the Vogue It Girl blah blah blah. I went back and read that article about you and your sister. 

Plum: It's old bag at this point. 

Zibby: It's old bag. Talk about becoming a novelist and how that has changed your life and hopefully improved it or perhaps not.

Plum: No, I mean, oh gosh that's such an interesting question. So I sort of owe all the novels to working at American Vogue, right? And winter. was my mentor, has been my mentor, is still a very supportive person. And actually without someone like that to say, you can do this, you may not do it. So I had been working at American Vogue for a few years.

I wrote a funny column for the magazine called Fashion Fiction. I went out for lunch with Anna at some point to discuss something. And she said, you know, Plum, this book, this column could be a book. And it kind of went in. I didn't do anything about it at that point. And then the reason that I actually, started writing my first novel was because after 9 11 I was so anxious and terrified and stressed and I kept thinking I just want to read Breakfast at Tiffany's but I've already read it I just want something to take me away and I thought I'm going to write my own Breakfast at Tiffany's which is why it's called Bergdorf Blondes because of the straws there was a lot in that and also Gentlemen Prefer Blondes which I read at the time and kind of took me away.

Have you read it? Bergdorf Blondes? No. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. No. I have read Bergdorf Blondes. The Anita Luce Gentleman Prefer is so funny. It's so funny. I highly recommend it to all your readers. So it was actually my reaction to 9 11 to try and cheer myself up and actually when you write something for yourself, it does resonate with people because there's a genuine emotional connection.

Because writing is all about connecting. Books are all about connecting. Bergdorf Blondes and the other books are all reported like a fashion story in Vogue, right? So in order to make these books seem real, in order to make the characters seem real, you've got to have the details be real. If it's a very observational, Trendy book which these are and I learned all of that at Vogue I was really trained in how to observe, observe everything and I think also I'm a natural observer anyway Like I came here.

I'm like my god. She's got color coded bookshelves. She's got awards everywhere She's got fashion, you know, I just I just take everything in and then I always wanted to be, have sort of one foot in the magazine world and another foot in having my own business, which is obviously what the books are. And that for me has been the most amazing balance in my career.

And I feel like I've never changed careers. I've always worked for Conte Nast or with my same editor I've worked with for 20 years. It's just been a constant. So it's my stability. My career is my stability actually. 

Zibby: Does it actually help with anxiety? 

Plum: What? 

Zibby: Writing does like I know you said it was post 9 11.

Oh, oh, like does your career help with new anxiety that comes? 

Plum: Stop gap such a good question. Well, sometimes it's very anxious making to think. Oh shit I've got to write a novel by this date two years at two years hence, whatever, but I think that you can I mean, after COVID, which I felt was a very anxious time for the world, that was when I really got going on this book.

And I wrote myself out of the stress of COVID by making myself laugh, by writing about Ian, the fabulous butler, having, you know, just a dream world, you know. So I think it does. It's like reading a book. It's just, it's all the same. The connection between the reader and the author is really fun. It's a sort of invisible, incredible thing that happens between two people who've never met.

Salman Rushdie says this in his new book, Knife, have you read it? Not yet. I'm reading all the wrong books, apparently. No, but he talks about the connection between the author and the reader who will never meet, whatever, and that magical moment when it all comes together. And I think that this book, it's sort of, it's just really connecting with people.

Zibby: I love that. 

Plum: But I, I work, I work very hard at thinking about the reader because the most important relationship the author has is with the reader. It's not with the reviewers. It's not the media. It's not the newspapers. It's that person in their bath with a candle reading that book. Are you going to keep them laughing?

My thing is keep the jokes coming because the, you know, lots of books, it's keep the tears coming, but if you can keep an emotional journey coming for them, that will keep them reading. 

Zibby: And what should people know, who have never been to the Cotswolds, who have not opened the book yet, what makes it such, like, prime material for you?

Plum: It's possibly the most beautiful part of the English countryside, because it's been protected. It is the Beatrix Potter fantasy. On acid, okay, with Range Rovers, helicopters, whatever. There's the most amazing nature and the most amazing places to buy food, farm shops, candles. There's incredible private clubs and things there.

But, to my mind, it's the poetry of the countryside there. The beautiful valleys, hills. You know, and actually where I live is where Laurie Lee lived, who wrote Sided With Rosie. And he writes about the poetry of the Cotswolds. And you only have to go back to his words, which are so beautiful. And it just, it's just alive.

It's like the long grass, the cow parsley, the daisies, the cows, the horses, the dogs. You know, it's just that dreamy thing. I mean, I think everyone should come to the Cotswolds once. 

Zibby: I'm in. 

Plum: Yeah, please come and stay. 

Zibby: We do these retreats. We should have a retreat in the Cotswolds. 

Plum: Do I do it at my house?

Zibby: Okay. 

Plum: Yeah, done. 

Zibby: Oh yeah. Just 50 women. We're gonna just come stomping in. So what do you make of social striving? 

Plum: Wow, what is social striving? 

Zibby: What do you make of when somebody is trying to elevate themselves? You could call it social climbing. 

Plum: Social climbing. Well, I love a social climber because it's so great to write about.

I think we're all social climbers, aren't we? In a way. Continue. Um, we all want to know someone fabulous. Whether it's our neighbour, the other mums at school, the queen. You know, I think it's, when, when we judge people who are social climbers, do we really have the right to judge them? Are we really not occasionally wanting to meet a social climber? the next new interesting person? 

Zibby: I feel like that's different. Oh, okay. I feel like wanting to meet an interesting person is different than trying to sort of like lasso your way up and attach yourself to someone and then pull yourself up to their station. 

Plum: Okay. Yeah. 

Zibby: Like, yeah, it's like using people a little bit.

Plum: Oh, okay. No, I don't like using people. 

Zibby: I don't think I feel like there's that, but there, there's a little bit, but do you think in the book? I think so. 

Plum: So with Tata, the main, the main character. Okay. So Tata's social climbing 

Zibby: Yes. 

Plum: Is endearing because it goes back to her insecurity. So it goes back to her heart.

She's lovely, but she's super, super flawed and she thinks that if she improves her social position, her husband will like her more. Which is absurd. And that her friends will like her more and she wants to be Queen bee of the Cowa. Right. And I think we all make that mistake. When we're insecure, instead of looking at ourselves and going, I just need to be happy with me.

We look around us and say, what can I do? What can I have? I know I'll buy a Dior gown. I know I'll get my hair done. I know I'll get a facelift or whatever. You know, people look at the externals so much. So I have a lot of empathy for a social climber because I think it comes from a, a hole in the, in the soul.

Zibby: I feel like people would never. Ever believed that you could empathize with insecurity. Can you empathize with insecurity?

Plum: I'm quite insecure.

Zibby: Impossible. 

Plum: No, I am. I am, actually. I am. I think every, I think everyone's insecure. And I think you can, I can spot it a mile away. And as they say, if you can spot it, you've got it.

I don't think you're insecure. I bet you're going to tell me it's different though. Are you insecure at all?

Zibby: I used to be horrifically insecure. 

Plum: Right, right, interesting. But I can still, I can still feel, I can still feel insecure. And probably the time I have felt the most insecure was after my husband divorced me, to be honest.

I mean that, talk about making you feel insecure. Hello. You know, a very sort of, that, that, you know, there's always things that will come out and hit us and you have to keep building yourself back up. You know, like Barack Obama said, pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, start over. We're all doing that all the time.

And my business is insecure making because you're depending on people enjoying and liking what you're doing um, and the media is a tough business. It's fun, but it's tough. 

Zibby: Yeah, that's true. There is nothing that can make you feel insecure like writing a book. 

Plum: Yeah, yeah. 

Zibby: Having to be out there. 

Plum: Yeah. Having reviews.

But, but there's, it's a weird thing as well, because then you only need one person who you've never met or whatever to send you a message on Instagram saying, Oh my God, I'm laughing so much. And you just, you just feel amazing. You know what I mean? Because of the connection and you, you go, I did what I set out to do.

Yeah. That's the really nice thing.

Zibby: Yes. That's very true. I love that. I love it. What plans do you have for more books? 

Plum: Well, it's interesting you should ask that, because I think that, I'd like to know what you think, Zibby, actually, so I think that Ian Palmer, the executive butler, is, for me, A Achieves character.

Zibby: Mm-Hmm. . 

Plum: Okay. Now, as we know, PG Woodhouse wrote many, many Jevs and Worcester books, and he wrote many did. Have you read lots of PG book? PG Woodhouse? 

Zibby: No. I promise you I read. I really do. We just have been reading different things. You know what? I'm so bad my reading. No, I am feeling totally insecure. You , totally insecure.

Thank you for creating that. 

Plum: Um, so PG Woodhouse. to my mind was the greatest, he's, he's the greatest comic author of the 20th century. He wrote 93 comic novels. Can you imagine? I mean, some of them when he was in like detention, like the, the, the Nazis put him in detention for like three years and he wrote some of them in a prison.

It's all about like Blanding's castle and, you know, but what I, what I'm trying to get to is this, is that I love a series. And Jeeves, who is the famous butler in P. G. Woodhouse, comes back again and again with Worcester, who's his silly, rich, toff boss. And when I was writing this book, I actually was very inspired by Jeeves and Worcester, and I thought, can I do, because I love that kind of double act so much, can I do a Jeeves and Worcester for today?

Worcester is a very rich, silly lady. And I love writing about rich, silly lady. Don't we all love to read about them? And Ian is the Jeeves. And I think that the readers are loving Ian so much. They want to read about him again. So I think a trilogy to start with, it's going to take me a long time. Thank God I've written one part of the trilogy, but I think wives like us, husbands like them, kids like us.

Zibby: Oh my gosh. So brilliant.

Plum: I mean... 

Zibby: so brilliant. 

Plum: Don't you think? I, I really think. And I, I just, I've always wanted to write a series, and I think this is the one that I can, I can do it, and I purposely left the ending open. You'll probably notice that. 

Zibby: Yes. 

Plum: It doesn't have, it has an ending that's incredibly satisfying.

There's more adventures to come. 

Zibby: That's perfect. That's so funny. And then of course the movie, right? Is there a movie? 

Plum: Well, I mean, I'm being asked about TV and film and stuff, but I'm very nervous about it. I don't trust all those L. A. people. I shouldn't say that, should I? I don't trust them. 

Zibby: I feel like it's a great way to get more people interested in the book.

Plum: Well, that's what my agent says. 

Zibby: Yeah. But I'm scared. Sometimes people don't even watch the show, but they're like, Oh, the show's made on a book, and then they get the book. 

Plum: Yeah. Yeah. I also think there's so much rubbish on television right now. Yeah. True. I mean, I loved, you know, Barbie. And I love, you know, some, some English film producers and directors who I think are amazing.

Like the director who did the Paddington movies. I just think he'd be brilliant. And he did Wonka as well. Have you seen it? 

Zibby: Not yet. 

Plum: I think Timothee Chalamet should be Ian. 

Zibby: Oh, that's not how I pictured Ian, but okay.

Plum: I think he's got time to age a little bit for the three books. 

Zibby: Oh my gosh, that's good.

Plum: What, how did you picture Ian? 

Zibby: I just, like, a little bit older a little bit. 

Plum: He's only 36 but he looks 32 remember because of the tinted moisturizer. 

Zibby: That's true. That's right. That's like on the very first page. 

Plum: Yes. 

Zibby: I don't know. I don't know. For me like, butler just like goes old. I know he is young. You're right.

I'm so sorry. 

Plum: But the whole point, no but you know what, the whole point about these butlers now is they're very suave and sophisticated and they are young.

Zibby: No I know and he's looking for love. I know, I know. 

Plum: And he's looking for love. 

Zibby: I know, I know, I know. It's, he's a great character. 

Plum: Yeah. 

Zibby: I don't know. 

Plum: But, but you know what?

I just, today, I wrote a piece in the New York Times about Butler's then and now, in the style section. It's just come out today. 

Zibby: Oh my gosh, so it'll be in the paper Thursday? 

Plum: It'll be in the paper Sunday. 

Zibby: Sunday. Oh my gosh. 

Plum: So it's online today. I mean, the photographs they've done are incredible. 

Zibby: Oh my gosh, I can't wait.

I'm sorry I didn't read that. 

Plum: They've photographed a butler in England who is the ultimate, um, executive butler. And the pictures are incredible. And then I did a sort of trajectory because I went back to my childhood. I've got a cousin who lives in this very grand estate in Yorkshire called Sledmere where I got married.

It's the most beautiful place. And there was a butler who worked there when I was a child. And he'd been there since 1959, if you can imagine. He would come in to the dining room, okay, which had the Romney portrait at one end of the room, the chandelier is the silver. wearing a wig when children were there and he would serve the entire lunch with a completely straight face with like a pink wig or the glasses with the springs coming out and I was talking to my cousin Christopher about it I was saying we loved Michael because he was a practical joker if a butler did this now people would think they were either rude, drunk, or mad.

You know? But there's a picture of him in the New York Times today. 

Zibby: Oh my gosh. 

Plum: Yeah, it's the most amazing photograph and he was buried next to the family and you know what it says on the headstone?

Zibby: What? 

Plum: Michael Kennelly. Then his dates. And underneath it just says, The Butler. I mean, it's just so sweet. We all loved him so much, but he's very different to a very suave executive butler now who can, like, book your hair appointments, get your net a porter haul in, you know, bring some cocaine over if you need it for a dinner party.

Zibby: Yeah. My gosh. I'm, now, I just, I keep thinking now about why I don't think it's Timothee Chalamet. I feel like, in my head, Ian is like, taller and thinner with like a longer 

Plum: nose. I have like a longer nose than Timothee Chalamet. Interesting. 

Zibby: Like I have him like more narrow. 

Plum: Okay. 

Zibby: I don't know. 

You probably didn't even say that.

This is just my, in my head. 

Plum: I love that. I love that you've got an image. 

Zibby: I have a total image, but it's not Timothee Chalamet. 

Plum: Who is it then?

Zibby: I don't know. 

Plum: English actor, maybe. 

Zibby: Yeah. Let me. 

Plum: Um, like a Tom Hiddleston. 

Zibby: Yeah, more like that. 

Plum: That look, actually. 

Zibby: Yes. 

Plum: More smooth. 

Zibby: Yeah. 

Plum: More British. 

Zibby: Yeah. That is like, romantic.

Plum: I loved, Tom Hiddleston's a really good idea. 

Zibby: Yeah. See? 

Plum: Isn't it? Cara, do you know him? 

Cara: I know. 

Plum: Does your mom? 

Cara: Maybe, yeah. 

Plum: Let's get him the book. 

Zibby: Okay, Plum's friend Cara is here as well. Okay, last question. What advice do you have for aspiring authors? 

Plum: Um, My advice for aspiring authors is to, well, it's a few things.

It is to read as much as you can all the time. Don't spend your whole time scrolling through a phone and watching television. Go and see the great movies, Billy Wilder, you know, the, the incredible directors, the golden age of cinema, because they, they are as good as, you know, great novels and great books.

Read lots of books by authors about writing. Stephen King's book on writing. Yes, that I read. Thank you. Of course you have. I've read it so many times. That's one of the great, it's a, it's a, it's a helpful guidebook. E. M. Forster wrote a book about writing as well. I also went on the very famous Robert McKee course story three times to just keep constructing a story.

That classical structure of story is very, very, very important to understand. That a story has a structure. It's not just a random messy floaty thing It's got to have a beginning middle and an end and if you want to do it in three acts That's fine. If you want to do it in five acts, you can do it in seven acts if you want, but make sure that You structure it in that way or else it's never gonna work Doesn't mean the story has to be a formula that doesn't work either but your story has to fit into that classical structure, I believe, which goes back to Greek plays.

And then I was very lucky because I had a job writing, so I was practicing all the time, and I was able to develop my voice and be paid and do it at Vogue and have a lot of inspiration. I think being an author now, compared with when I started, is much, much, much more difficult, because people don't buy books as much, they don't read print as much.

I mean, hopefully people you know, there's a lot of good books out this summer and I, I feel like people are actually ready to get off the TV in a way because it's all got a bit too much, we've watched a bit too much television. And I think working in, people who work in social media right now and who are journalists for online newspapers and things, they're going to be the great authors of the future.

They are learning how to write at the coalface, you know, in the same way that we were. It's just the medium is different. You know, I did it for print, but you can go and work for Vogue. com and you'll get exactly the same training. You need to be trained. You need a mentor. You need a lot of support. And I mean, my view still is, is that if you can go and sort of start with a blue chip company like Condé Nast, then you're set up for life.

It's much harder, but if you're a genius, you can probably do it on your own. 

Zibby: If you're a genius, you probably don't need our advice. 

Plum: I mean, look at, for example, if you look at, say, Candace Bushnell and Helen Fielding. Two examples.

Zibby: Yep. 

Plum: They were both columns in big newspapers that went on for several years.

That's how they found their voice. 

Zibby: Anna Quindlen. 

Plum: Anna Quindlen, exactly. Charles Dickens. 

Zibby: Mm hmm. 

Plum: Serial, serialized, yes. Okay, he wrote, you know, as and when. So, I don't think anyone should disregard writing for websites and writing for the internet, because that's actually how people learn and that actually goes back to how people used to publish books.

It was in little chunks. 

Zibby: I love that. 

Plum: You know? 

Amazing. Alright. 

Thank you. 

Zibby: Wives like us. 

Plum: Oh, thank you, darling. It's so sweet to meet you. So fun. 

Zibby: It was so fun. 

Plum: That was the best interview, Zibby. 

Zibby: Thank you.


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