authors · work-in-progress

Daphne du Maurier’s Petula

While I was galloping through brilliant Sophie Hannah’s new Poirot mystery, Closed Casket, it occurred to me that crime writers have to come up with an awful lot of character names.(All credit to them for that. Don’t you feel cheated when, in literary fiction, the narrator is unnamed? Where’s the fun?) In crime fiction, you’ve… Continue reading Daphne du Maurier’s Petula

authors · Bookbybook

bookbybook 14: Deborah Moggach

Deborah Moggach combines writing novels with writing scripts, and there’s a wonderful urgent energy in everything she writes – from boisterous expositions of family life like Close Relations to comedies like Heartbreak Hotel, to tales of dark goings-on and secrets in In the Dark. She has published 21 books and had many scripts filmed but,… Continue reading bookbybook 14: Deborah Moggach

authors · work-in-progress

Lift Your Game, Smarten Your Act

Ann Patchett is my go-to writer at the moment for wisdom. (Have you read Commonwealth yet? If not why not?) Browsing through the paperback edition of State of Wonder, her previous novel, I read a piece she’d written entitled ‘A Short Story Versus a Novel’. Here’s what she had to say: ‘When I was in… Continue reading Lift Your Game, Smarten Your Act


bookbybook 13: John Harvey

My friend Belinda Hollyer recommended John Harvey’s Charlie Resnick novels to me. I feasted on all ten of them (he has since written two more) and relished the elegant writing and plotting. I didn’t realise that Harvey had been around as long as he had – by then, some thirty years. He began as a… Continue reading bookbybook 13: John Harvey


bookbybook 12: Berlie Doherty

In an era where everything that’s exciting is new, it’s no mean feat to have your earlier work republished for a new audience, but that happens to Berlie Doherty, a lot. This year, three of her books have been given brand-new looks, which is testament to their enduring popularity. First, Dear Nobody, which we revisited… Continue reading bookbybook 12: Berlie Doherty

authors · children's books · prizes and awards · rereading

Revisiting ‘Dear Nobody’ by Berlie Doherty

I simply wanted to write a book which would be interesting to teenagers. I never want to write a message or a moral in my books – I don’t think that’s a novelist’s job. If I can write a strong story that moves my readers, then that is as much as I want to do… Continue reading Revisiting ‘Dear Nobody’ by Berlie Doherty

author interview · children's books · Favourite writers · meet the author · prizes and awards

bookbybook 11: Anne Fine

I’m thrilled to kick off this second series of interviews with fabulous authors who have written widely, across different age groups and in different genres, over many years – in short, writers who’ve made a writing life not only work but thrive. And I couldn’t be more thrilled than I am to begin by featuring… Continue reading bookbybook 11: Anne Fine