Storyish is my new favourite word. I heard it last night, when I attended a panel event, hosted by Goldsboro Books, celebrating Agatha Christie. The speakers were Ragnar Jonasson (crime writer and translator of many Christie books into Icelandic), John Curran (Christie’s biographer), James Prichard (Christie’s great-grandson and manager of her estate), and Sophie Hannah,… Continue reading How To Be Storyish
Rail trips across Australia’s vast state borders had always held all the elements of narrative for Astley: human beings in a small space forging strange alliances, all with a rueful acceptance of their own banality. In a railway carriage anyone could be “people freak” – Astley’s favourite term for herself – could listen in on… Continue reading Why I Write. Why I Read.
There aren’t many crime writers who have won awards for comic fiction, but Chris Brookmyre has. His exuberantly titled All Fun and Games Until Someone Loses An Eye (his books might not be best suited to the squeamish) won the Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction, but his most recent plaudits have been for hard-boiled… Continue reading bookbybook 19: Chris Brookmyre
William Sutcliffe is enjoying great critical success as a writer for young adults – The Wall was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and Concentr8 made the YA Book Prize shortlist. Before that, he had huge success with books for a run of exceptionally funny books for adults. (Although teens could and did read them, and… Continue reading bookbybook 16: William Sutcliffe
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
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
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