Non-fiction book of the month: The Actual One by Isy Suttie. ANSWERS BACK!

(31 Posts)
SorchaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 29-Apr-16 18:00:00

Our non-fiction book of the month for May is The Actual One, a hilarious account of how Isy Suttie tried and failed to remain twenty-something for ever.

From papier-mâché penguins to being stranded on a dual carriageway in nothing but a fur coat and trainers, The Actual One is an ode to the confusing wilderness of your late twenties, alongside a quest for a genuinely good relationship with a man who doesn't use moisturiser.

We've got 50 copies of The Actual One to give away to Mumsnetters who want to read and share their thoughts about it on this discussion. Go to the giveaway page to find out more about the book and apply for a free copy.

Isy will also be answering questions on here. Post your qs before 7 June and we'll send over a selection to Isy. We'll upload her answers in mid-June.

aristocat Fri 20-May-16 22:07:28

Thanks mumsnet for this book. I have read approximately half so far and it is very entertaining and well written and laugh out loud funny - just as expected to be honest! smile
My question to Isy is, we have seen you performing on TV, radio and Theatre for years now - had you not considered writing a book before?

And please tell me there will be book #2 crosses fingers grin

rhinosuze Sun 22-May-16 17:05:41

I too am half way through and loving it! I'd like to ask Isy did you ever feel exposed writing true stories from your life? (I got the impression you don't bother much with embarrassment)

pinkspideruk Thu 26-May-16 00:09:04

I've read the book - really enjoyed it - literally laughed out loud.

My questions are:

1. Where can I find your hunky NZ guy? :p okay maybe not

1. Will you be writing a sequel?

2. Have you considered turning it into a TV series as i think it would be great as a tv show a bit like friends meets Miranda

3. What is your fave medium to work in? A packed out theatre, TV or radio ? and why?

FoxInABox Tue 31-May-16 14:33:10

Thank you for my copy- I really enjoyed this, funny and full of recognisable moments. I'm a huge fan of peep show and found the humour similar, this made me think-
do you think of yourself as similar to Dobby?
I second the pp that this would be fantastic as a tv series.
I also wondered what your friends reactions to the book were?

starlight36 Wed 01-Jun-16 08:41:13

Thank you for my copy - I've really enjoyed reading this book. I found myself especially relating to receiving well-meaning slightly overbearing maternal advice!

My question is how did it feel to write a book and have to wait some time to get readers' feedback compared with the instant reaction you receive during a stand up show? Are you likely to repeat the experience? I sense there may be sufficient materialwink

FoxInABox Wed 01-Jun-16 16:27:58

Forgot to add, the smear test and skiing chapters were my favourite by far- my kids were looking at me like I was a lunatic, sat laughing to myself.... Love your drawings too. I think you should do a comic book for women smile

SuzCG Wed 01-Jun-16 16:38:14

Thank you so much for my copy of this book - very entertaining read!

Tells a quirky story of reluctantly growing up and how eventually not hitting rush hour becomes more important that having wild, spontaneous fun. The fact it was a true account really made me laugh along as I read it - most people will have a relatable moment whilst reading it, for sure.

My question for Isy is...

Being used to working in studio's for your TV & radio work, surrounded by people did you find the writing process difficult & lonely at all? How did you take to and adapt to this very different medium of comedy??

CheeseEMouse Wed 01-Jun-16 22:04:41

Thank you for the book - I too have been enjoying it, and I really like your writing style. I've been laughing throughout.

My question is what gave you the idea for writing a book about your life so far, and did you find it a difficult process? Why did you want to share your experiences?

mummyhereandthere Fri 03-Jun-16 08:57:01

Thanks for giving me the opportunity to reading the book. I loved it and finished it!

Now you have entered the world of writing what is next in store?

Why do you feel you need a man to find happiness?

What is your advice to anyone who has split up?

Are you going have a baby, lol?

BlackSusie2004 Sun 05-Jun-16 16:03:52

Thank you Mumsnet for my copy of The Actual One: Or How to Avoid Settling Down For as Long as Possible.
I really enjoyed reading this book and annoyed my partner by laughing out loud numerous times so that he couldn't hear the television!
I could relate so well to the stories, and now in my mid-forties, I still haven't grown up, but have watched my friends settle down and change so much. I'm also very clumsy and if anything's going to go wrong, it's always me it happens to, I swear I'm invited to events to protect everyone else!
I'd love to ask Isy, do you have a desire to become a mother, and do you feel women should get 'broody' at some point? (I never have, I just have stepchildren and godchildren!)

aspella Sun 05-Jun-16 21:58:42

Thanks Mumsnet for my copy of the book. I was disappointed with the book, it was very repetitive and featured more about her teenage years as opposed to early thirties and trying not to grow up. It felt like the various situations you found yourself in were due to being asked to cover them for a magazine - i.e. the date in the dark restaurant, the Alice in wunderbarland (could have come straight from a secret cinema). The skiing incident could have come from Bridget Jones. The ending was a complete cop out, why didn't you mention that you'd grown up and had a child. I was pleased that you admitted you don't like dogs but frustrated that you got in a car with one.

Do you plan on writing another book about finding the one and having a child and how it has changed you?
Are you more sensible with money since having a child?
Are you going to write a book for children, as you seem to like drawing?

BearAusten Mon 06-Jun-16 12:19:42

A great laugh out loud book. As someone a couple of years older than you, and from the same area, I have never heard of 'custard cousins'. Nor do I remember Take That being at Matlock Bath. I had quite a sheltered existence.

Have you ever heckled anyone at a stand-up show? Do you feel empathy for other comedians when they are dying on stage, even if they are horrendous?

Which was your favourite comedy stand-up show (both as a performer and spectator) and why was that?

queenoftheschoolrun Mon 06-Jun-16 20:06:40

Thanks for my free copy. I read this in just a couple of days whilst on holiday and could completely relate to the horror of hearing that your friends are settling down and having a baby! This didn't happen to me until my late twenties but still completely took me by surprise. It took me another 5 years or so before I felt ready for such things!

My question to Isy is - do you have a picture of the penguin? I'd love to see it!

jemago Mon 06-Jun-16 21:15:33

Hi Isy,
Loved the book and enjoyed the show in Belfast. Are you going to see the amazing Doug Anthony Allstars in soho theatre in August as they are playing after your show?

Susangilley7 Thu 09-Jun-16 11:57:09

Thank you so much for this book. Loved, loved it. So funny it made me laugh as I read it. There should be more of this in life. Thank you again Isy Suttie for the ride!!

Sarah3kids Mon 13-Jun-16 16:37:08

Thank you for my copy of this book - it was like taking a trip down memory lane!! It was like I was going through old diaries - with hilarious descriptions of highly embarrassing situations ..... thank you x

What I would like to know is - how is your Mum with you now, does she interfere/or remind you of embarrassing times? How would she describe your situation now. Will you come back in 10 years time and tell us how it's been - and are your friends more careful around you knowing that they could be material for the next one!! xx

daimbardiva Mon 20-Jun-16 17:57:28

Thanks very much for my copy. I was really looking forward to reading it but I didn't enjoy it quite as much as I thought I would. On the one hand I really enjoyed the affectionate portraits she painted of her friends and family and all their quirks. I really felt I knew them and had really clear images of them and their relationships came over as very real. However I found that lots of isy's anecdotes just didn't go anywhere - they started off really promising but then nothing happened and they petered out. However I often find I'm disappointed w autobiographies so maybe it's my problem, not the book's! I did find some of it very sweet, wry and moving.

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 29-Jun-16 17:18:59

We now have Isy's answers to your questions and are about to upload them to the thread. Thanks to everyone who has posted up feedback so far.

IsySuttie Wed 29-Jun-16 17:29:29

aristocat

Thanks mumsnet for this book. I have read approximately half so far and it is very entertaining and well written and laugh out loud funny - just as expected to be honest! smile
My question to Isy is, we have seen you performing on TV, radio and Theatre for years now - had you not considered writing a book before?

And please tell me there will be book #2 crosses fingers grin

I've always worked with what's in front of me as it were, rather than having these big dreams that I have to fulfil - I always try and stick with what feels right in the moment. So I hadn't always harboured a dream of writing a book, but when I had the meeting about doing so, it followed on naturally from my radio series, and I felt confident to write it. It felt completely right so I followed my instincts.

IsySuttie Wed 29-Jun-16 17:29:58

rhinosuze

I too am half way through and loving it! I'd like to ask Isy did you ever feel exposed writing true stories from your life? (I got the impression you don't bother much with embarrassment)

My friends and I from home are very similar so I sometimes wonder if it's a Matlock thing - I've never felt embarrassed about writing about my own life. What was more of a question to me was whether it was relevant and funny. I think when you're a stand up you lose a bit of that reluctance to reveal personal stuff, as you are always scrabbling about for material. It feels good to take risks.

IsySuttie Wed 29-Jun-16 17:30:43

pinkspideruk

I've read the book - really enjoyed it - literally laughed out loud.

My questions are:

1. Where can I find your hunky NZ guy? :p okay maybe not

1. Will you be writing a sequel?

2. Have you considered turning it into a TV series as i think it would be great as a tv show a bit like friends meets Miranda

3. What is your fave medium to work in? A packed out theatre, TV or radio ? and why?

Thanks! Yes I have, and I think that's something I might start developing at some point. Probably when I'm 50, and I'd still insist on me playing Isy. I like the variety of doing lots of different jobs. I love acting on telly, you're all cogs in a big machine, and it feels amazing when it flows. But I also love the control of writing on my own and just doing it that night. Stand up can get really lonely - mostly the travel - so I love doing a bit of everything and not knowing what's next.

IsySuttie Wed 29-Jun-16 17:31:17

FoxInABox

Thank you for my copy- I really enjoyed this, funny and full of recognisable moments. I'm a huge fan of peep show and found the humour similar, this made me think-
do you think of yourself as similar to Dobby?
I second the pp that this would be fantastic as a tv series.
I also wondered what your friends reactions to the book were?

When I got the part of Dobby, my friends thought it must have been written for me, but I didn't know the writers or Rob and David at that point. It was just a good fit and also my interpretation of the part - other actors would have brought out different aspects of her. I think I've got the same "screw it, let's do it" attitude - I can be quite impatient - but some of her hobbies and skills I haven't got a clue about - I've never done LARPing and I'm terrible with technology so would make a bad IT person. I love her spirit and it was such a joy to play her. I probably wouldn't have stuck with Mark for that long. My friends who were in it thankfully were all lovely about the book - none of them read it before it was out, so they couldn't change anything anyway, mwah ha ha!

IsySuttie Wed 29-Jun-16 17:31:44

starlight36

Thank you for my copy - I've really enjoyed reading this book. I found myself especially relating to receiving well-meaning slightly overbearing maternal advice!

My question is how did it feel to write a book and have to wait some time to get readers' feedback compared with the instant reaction you receive during a stand up show? Are you likely to repeat the experience? I sense there may be sufficient materialwink

It was scary at times but once the writing got going I felt very absorbed and really did enjoy it - I would write 2000 words a day and not let myself do less even if I thought it wasn't great - I knew I could go back on it. I had to get up and just start every day. After a bit it felt like a friend I had with me all the time - I would go back to it and wrestle with it or sometimes it felt easier. The length scared me initially but it was really exciting, and I had to trust my instincts as I wasn't getting the feedback, which is good for you.

IsySuttie Wed 29-Jun-16 17:33:02

BlackSusie2004

Thank you Mumsnet for my copy of The Actual One: Or How to Avoid Settling Down For as Long as Possible.
I really enjoyed reading this book and annoyed my partner by laughing out loud numerous times so that he couldn't hear the television!
I could relate so well to the stories, and now in my mid-forties, I still haven't grown up, but have watched my friends settle down and change so much. I'm also very clumsy and if anything's going to go wrong, it's always me it happens to, I swear I'm invited to events to protect everyone else!
I'd love to ask Isy, do you have a desire to become a mother, and do you feel women should get 'broody' at some point? (I never have, I just have stepchildren and godchildren!)

I certainly don't feel like they 'should' - I detest this idea that every woman has to have kids and I hate the term 'childless'. It's everyone's individual choice and no assumptions should be made about what women what and whether they're trying or not and why and all that business. I think it can be very tedious and upsetting at times. I had a moment where I did suddenly feel like I must have a baby, and I'm lucky enough that that worked out, but not every woman feels like that.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now