Books catch you up. You might hurtle to the end of a page-turner, only for a line to snake its way up much later and snare you. Sometimes, simultaneous reading allows one book to complement another but at other times its leads to a spaghetti tangle of confusion. What’s it like to meet two writers… Continue reading A Tale of Two Writers
It’s dispiriting to think about, but I feel I want to write about rejection and failure – I have to – because it’s such a big part of making a writing life work. Rejection is tough – even if the reasons have less to do with your own work, and more the legacy of previous acquisitions… Continue reading Dr. No
What are your most satisfying writing moments? Is it putting pen to paper for the first time and setting down the words ‘Chapter One’? Or is it finally releasing that last sentence you may have had rolling round inside your head for a year? Or maybe it’s the breakthroughs that happen along the way: the… Continue reading Writing Breakthroughs
Not so long ago, you could attend a publishing launch party practically every night of the week. (I wasn’t inundated with invitations personally, but I know people who were.) Nowadays, publicity budgets are stretched so launches are few and far between. That’s come as a huge disappointment to lots of authors – I suspect that… Continue reading A Time to Celebrate
How do you know that you’ve finished a piece of creative work, apart from typing ‘the end’? Maybe you’ve built up to a dramatic climax. Or closed in on a quiet resolution? You end the book with that sigh of satisfaction you get when reading a really good novel. If you’ve made sense of a… Continue reading How Do You Know When to Let Go?
I’ve heard it said that writing a novel teaches you only how to write that particular novel. Next time, you’re back to square one. I don’t want that to be true, do you? I do want to be informed by the experience of writing my current book. I know I want to look again at some of… Continue reading The Pleasure of Not Writing
Earlier, we talked about being in the right place at the wrong time. Or the wrong place at the right time. Well, here’s how that happened to me. I grew up in Australia and was school in suburban Sydney. When I was about 15, my English teacher recommended David Malouf’s An Imaginary Life, which was… Continue reading Making the World