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Recent posts – Page 131

  • Bringing History to Life

    "History leaves so much out. It leaves out the most important thing: the detail of what being alive is like." So said the novelist J.G. Farrell, when asked why he wrote historical fiction. I want to reach for these words whenever I try to explain to others and myself the messy pursuit I have...

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  • Fuel for the Fires of Inspiration

    The struggles of writers who have produced art out of suffering and persecution are well documented and celebrated, and rightly so. Less high profile is the struggle of writers who try desperately to produce art out of their normal, workaday lives. These writers (and I count myself among this...

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  • Letting Go of the Hermit-Writer Fantasy

    This is my house. How jealous are you on a scale of one to ten? If you're on eight or above, I reckon you might have hermit tendencies. I remember a holiday in Norfolk, when I was about twelve, when we took a boat out to an island bird sanctuary. There was a guy there who was living in a hut on the...

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  • Delete, Baby, Delete - The Digital Publishing Dilemma

    He is making a list and checking it twice. Well these days he checks a spreadsheet, and many of those in the "nice" column are getting an iPad or a Kindle. This Christmas is set to be the tipping point for digital books. Sales of e-books on Amazon overtook hardbacks in 2010. It is quite possible...

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  • Inspiration, Perspiration, Education

    I love the very notion of genius: the ultimate being; one who levitates from bed in the morning with poetry bristling in every follicle; one who, en route to their early morning cup of nectar, has only to pass by a word-processor for the perfect words, the cadenced sentences, the achingly beautiful...

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  • Seducing an Agent

    Last week an agent called me. I've been told that getting an agent to pay attention to you is more difficult than eating an entire whale with a teaspoon, but apparently these things do sometimes happen. I caught the agent's eye when she was a judge for the West Dean/Myriad Editions Writers' Retreat...

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