Sophie Pembroke on The Last Days of Summer

June 2016

Sophie Pembroke drew from real-life inspiration when she penned the beautiful The Last Days of Summer. In the book, Saskia’s beloved grandfather Nathaniel is a true literary legend – an easy task to create as Sophie herself comes from quite the literary family! Read on for Sophie’s behind the scenes look at her artistic and supportive family life…

A Family of Writers

Once, when I was about ten or so, my grandparents came to babysit for us for the evening.

This wasn’t particularly unusual; after we moved home to Wales (and after we moved out of their house again a year later) they lived just around the corner. They must have looked after us dozens of evenings. But this particular one has always stuck in my memory.

“What do you want to do when you grow up?” Grandad asked me.

“I want to be a writer,” I said.

“Then you will be. So, what have you written?”

He might have regretted asking that questions when, ten minutes later, I returned from my bedroom with a giant stack of notebooks and proceeded to regale them with the plot of every one of the stories contained within.

But the funny thing is, I’m not the only writer in my family. Not even close.  And I’m certain that has something to do with the family we came from – one that loved stories and books, that prized learning, and held the arts in high esteem – from painting to acting to singing to writing and everything else in between.

There are eight of us Cousins on my mother’s side of the family. We’re all musical (there is a lot of singing at my family gatherings), most of us have appeared in plays of one sort or another (some professionally, some just the sketches we put on to entertain family, and various levels between), and we all have a love of the arts. Also, one of us has a great career as an editor, one is a playwright and screenwriter for the West End and BBC, and two of us are novelists.

That has to be against the odds, right?

But I don’t think it’s just the love of music and drama and story our grandparents and parents instilled in us that helped us get here. I think the major reason we’ve all found work we love in a difficult field can be clearly seen in my grandfather’s words that night.

Then you will be.

Our grandparents believed – with all their hearts – that we could do anything we wanted to.

And so we believed it too.

The Last Days of Summer is out now from Carina UK.

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