Favourite writers · rereading · work-in-progress · writing life

What’s It All About?

Last week, I had a pleasure and privilege of reading from Ready to Love at Polari, a regular evening of readings celebrating different representations of LGBT literature, held at the Festival Hall at the South Bank. It was lovely to go back to the book, with which I’ve had very little to do recently, on… Continue reading What’s It All About?

authors · editing · Favourite writers · rereading · work-in-progress · writing life

How To Be Storyish

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

Australian writers · authors · Favourite writers · rereading

Why I Write. Why I Read.

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.

Australian writers · children's books · classics · Favourite writers · prizes and awards · rereading

Your First Favourite Author

I’ve briefly mentioned Robin Klein on this blog before, but today is her 81st birthday and so I feel she deserves a post of her own. She was the first author I ever wrote to (way back in 1986) and her friendliness and openness made me completely believe that a writing life was possible. There’s… Continue reading Your First Favourite Author

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

children's books · prizes and awards · rereading

Joan Aiken: Many Happy Returns!

‘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!

authors · children's books · classics · Favourite writers · rereading

Welcome Back to the House …

Dame Penelope Lively has been a spokesperson for Penguin’s latest batch of A Puffin Book titles in which her 1974 novel, The House in Norham Gardens, appears. She is justifiably pleased to see her book reissued for new readers on a list which was the bedrock of children’s reading when her own children (she is… Continue reading Welcome Back to the House …