Eleanor Tucker – Q&A

Thanks for Sharing by Eleanor Tucker is published by Aurum on 6 April 2023.

Eleanor kindly answered a few of my questions.

1. Tell us a little about Thanks for Sharing. 

Well, it’s a cross between a guidebook and a memoir, and it’s all about my attempts to use the sharing economy (think ’The Airbnb for…’) to borrow, swap and rent things instead of buying them. Some of it goes according to plan, some of it doesn’t, shall we say. I’ve tried to make it as entertaining as possible, while weaving in some history and facts about how we used to share, why it’s starting to happen again now thanks to technology – and how it could help out both the planet and our pockets.

2. What inspired the book?

I work as a consultant in the sharing economy space so I was inspired by the businesses I advise. I could see what brilliant stuff they’re doing, from helping people share their clothes, to their pets, cars, parking spaces… you name it. But I didn’t feel like enough people really knew about it or understood it, so I wanted to get the word out. All that said, I didn’t want to write a business book. I knew I wanted it to be humorous, and grounded in real life. And the result was Thanks for Sharing.  

3. How much planning and research went into the book before you started writing?

Quite a lot. Writing the proposal and working out what sort of book it was going to be, and how it would be structured, was probably the part that took the longest. After I got my publishing deal and I was actually trying all the sharing economy apps and writing about them, it moved along pretty quickly. 

4. Is there anything about the process of publishing a book that surprised you?

I’m a debut author so honestly, every part of it surprises me as it’s all so new. I’m lucky to have a brilliant agent (Emily MacDonald at 42) to guide me though. I do remember though when an email from my publisher arrived saying, “Here’s the cover of your book” and I thought – What?! I thought I would have a say in it. That was a big surprise. I crossed my fingers and opened the jpg and thankfully – I absolutely loved it. 

5. What do you do when you aren’t writing? What do you do to relax and get away from it all?

I actually love writing so that in itself helps me relax. But when I really need to decompress, I head to the kitchen, pour a glass of red wine and cook, radio on in the background. Either that or I’ll curl up on the couch and watch a film with my husband. A great big 3-hour long one like Dune on a Sunday afternoon: bliss. 

6. If you could only read one book for the rest of your life which book would it be?

I think if I had to read and re-read a book it would need to be set over many locations and time periods, so something like Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life, which I absolutely loved. As for non-fiction, I feel like I could read Incognito: The Secret Lives of The Brain by David Eagleman again and again as it’s so dense – but so fascinating. 

7. I like to end my Q&As with the same question so here we go. During all the Q&As and interviews you’ve done what question have you not been asked that you wish had been asked – and what’s the answer?

Nobody has ever asked me where I wrote my book. And the answer is, not at a writing desk, or in an office, or garret, or anything ‘literary’ like that. Nope, I wrote it in bed. So there: that’s how glamorous I am. 

About the Book

What is the Sharing Economy? How can it help us live more affordable, more sustainable, and ultimately more fulfilling lives?  What would happen if for one year a family pledged to share as much as they possibly can? Instead ofowning more and more stuff, what it’s like to stop owning things and borrow, lend, rent and swap instead?

These are big questions, but features writer Eleanor Tucker sets out to answer them in this thoroughly absorbing and entertaining guide to sustainable sharing, or as it is also known, ‘collaborative consumption’.

In this engrossing study, Eleanor straps us into on her year-long experiment along with her somewhat reluctant family. Over the course of the year, with the aid of various sharing apps, they will pledge to buy as few new things as possible, instead relying on the power of sharing, lending, renting and borrowing to supply their needs.

Each chapter introduces a different type of sharing into her day to day life, from the little ‘things’ (food, clothes) to the bigger ’things’ (cars, furniture, the space around us), and shows how the growth of tech has revolutionized an age-old practice.

The book contains best-for recommendations based around different types of sharing, to create an easily accessible shortcut into sharing.

Written with warm and relatable humour as well as a deeply-researched knowledge of the history of sharing, this unmissable guide could truly change the way you consume.

You can buy a copy of the book here.

(This is an affiliate link. I may earn a little if you purchase through it. You can also buy a copy of Thanks for Sharing from your local independent bookshop.)

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