Six years ago Jessie Burton wrote The Minaturist, an intriguing novel set in historic Amsterdam. The book was later serialised on TV and starred Anya Taylor-Joy (of The Queen’s Gambit fame).

Jessie has recently published a sequel called The House of Fortune. We caught up with her in Oxford to hear her thoughts on the sequel and the difficulties of writing novels.

Jessie revealed that she wrote the sequel whilst pregnant with her third child and during the time that her house caught fire. She’s an engaging author to listen to – genuine, warm and thoughtful. She discussed the contemporary themes in The Minaturist and how they develop further in her new book. She researches through using archives, visiting art galleries and reading about historical issues of the time.  Parts of the storyline which appeared in The Minaturist were questioned by some of the press, but Jessie was delighted that it has prompted further research and change by some of the Dutch art galleries.

Her other books include The Muse and The Confession – very different to The Minaturist but equally thought provoking.