The Book…According to Elle McNicoll

‘I still can’t believe it survived the pandemic and reached readers.’

Elle McNicoll has gained a huge following since the release of her debut novel A Kind of Spark. As her latest book, Like a Charm, hits the shelves, BooksfromScotland got in touch to ask Elle about her favourite books.


Like a Charm
By Elle McNicoll
Published by Knights Of


The book as . . . memory. What is your first memory of books and reading?

Elmer. I still think it’s one of the best books of all time.


The book as . . . your work. Tell us about your latest book Like a Charm. What did you want to explore in writing it? 

I never set out wanting to write about any specific theme or issue, it always begins with a character. Which, in this case, is Ramya: a girl who is 12, loves fashion, has learning difficulties and also happens to have magical gifts. She also loves berets. So, I wrote about her.


The book as . . . inspiration. What is your favourite book that has informed how you see yourself?

Probably my own, to be honest. I wrote A Kind of Spark because nothing like it existed. An Own Voice book for ND readers young and old. I still can’t believe it survived the pandemic and reached readers.


The book as. . .education. What is your favourite book that made you look at the world differently?

The Eyewitness Book of Sharks. An amazing account of my favourite animal and their underwater world.


The book as . . . an object. What is your favourite beautiful book? 

Eight Princesses and a Magic Mirror by Natasha Farrant.


The book as . . . entertainment. What is your favourite rattling good read?

Anything by Talia Hibbert or Jennifer Bell.


The book as . . . a relationship. What is your favourite book that bonded you to someone else?

Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman. She’s an exceptional writer.


The book as . . . rebellion. What is your favourite book that felt like it revealed a secret truth to you?

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.


The book as. . .technology. What has been your favourite reading experience off the page?

Plays, usually. Tony Kushner and Tennessee Williams.


The book as . . . a destination. What is your favourite book set in a place unknown to you?

 Persuasion by Jane Austen has always made me want to go to Bath.


The book as . . . the future. What are you looking forward to reading next?

I’m in a slump at the moment, so something engaging and dynamic that is impossible to put down. I’m excited to pick up The Wolf Den next, I think.


Like a Charm by Elle McNicoll is published by Knights Of, priced £6.99.

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