When I worked full-time in-house, I was very mindful of how I used my spare time for writing. I developed a system when I would write before work each morning, and then walk to the office, which took at least fifty minutes (in other jobs, living elsewhere, longer). I could close down thoughts about my… Continue reading Turning Up the Volume
I think a writer’s biggest challenge isn’t always getting published, but staying published. (Debuts have a pretty easy life, all things considered.) The next biggest challenge is writing what you want, not just what the public and your publishers expect of you. So it was a brave David Leavitt who decided – not too far… Continue reading bookbybook 10: David Leavitt
On the plane to New York last week, I saw a documentary called ‘Everything is Copy’ about Nora Ephron (1941-2012), the American writer/director known for films such as Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally and Julie & Julia. Ephron was also a formidable journalist and novelist. Her best-known and most controversial book was Heartburn,… Continue reading Everything Is Copy
Writers are often expected to be consistent, producing the same sort of book year in, year out. But life – and art – doesn’t work out that way. Just look at the career of Susan Hill. I’d read anything with her name on the cover. That might mean reading a police procedural, or a literary… Continue reading bookbybook 09: Susan Hill
‘Indeed, a most remarkable tale,’ the Marquess said silkily. ‘So, on the very night that you were to perform my errand, you will have me believe that by some bizarre coincidence, the curator’s grandson had already made off with the object?’ ‘That’s about it, gaffer. Beats cockfighting, dunnit, how these things comes about? The young… Continue reading Joan Aiken: Many Happy Returns!
I remember Paul Magrs’ first novel being published just when I’d moved to London to follow my literary aspirations. He struck me as a vibrant, vital writer – and still does. Since his early magical realist books, he’s written space operas, comedy, YA novels, memoir and more. This quote from a lovely interview by William Shaw… Continue reading bookbybook 08: Paul Magrs