Best-selling novelist Jilly Cooper started out as a journalist and non-fiction writer before turning her hand to writing fiction. She published her first novel in 1975. Jilly Cooper’s best known work is a series of romantic novels called The Rutshire Chronicles the first of which Riders appeared in 1986.She was awarded an OBE in 2004 for services to literature.
Jilly Cooper generally works in a 17th Century gazebo at the bottom of her garden and uses an old manual typewriter called Monica. She has attached a pair of scissors to Monica for cutting and pasting.
In a 2010 video interview for her novel Jump she describes how she first acquired Monica.
In another interview for the Daily Telegraph she talked about her routine on a typical working day … I get up at 7am. I cook chicken and fish for my four cats and sausages or beef for Feather my greyhound. Then I grind up croissants, fruit cake and breadcrumbs and feed the birds. I help Leo (her husband) get dressed and see that he has his pills. So I’m very busy at the start of the day and I can’t get out of the house in less than two hours. After that I walk Feather along the valley for miles. It gives me time to think. I take a diary with me because I am sometimes struck with inspiration and need to write down my thoughts. When I get back I look through my post – I get about 20 letters a day. I seldom start work before noon. I write until 4 or 5pm. I write in two rooms. One is a gazebo at the bottom of the garden, which has beautiful views of the valley, and the other is a room at the top of the house. I use an old typewriter called Monica. I bought her in about 1987 and all my big books from Rivals onwards have been written on her. I use scissors to cut and paste when I need to move things about. I know using a computer would be much easier but there is always a danger of accidentally wiping the whole thing …