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'What genre would Shakespeare be? His works contain horror, history, myth, fantasy, ghosts, crime. Dickens, too. I always have a Dickens on the go, and dip in just as I would a giant bag of pick and mix. I want a novel to have it all; why not?'
Reading. Breathing. No TV, just books, just us. In those few days, I fell in love with Agatha Christie and all things murder mystery. It’s something that’s stayed with me all my life. It’s my go-to literature for relaxing. The thing that connects me to my dad.
'Barbara Pym's renaissance was sparked in 1977 in the TLS when both Lord Cecil and Philip Larkin claimed her as ‘the most underrated novelist of the century’. Her books were republished, and, joy of joys, she was shortlisted for the Booker Prize.'

Alexandra Benedict speaks with Doug Johnstone about writing fiction and audio drama in the Doctor Who universe, co-writing works such as the Lovecraft-themed audio drama Arkham County with her partner Guy, and her sometimes stress-inducing habit of having many writing projects on the go simultaneously.

Jeremy Treglown considers the allure of working with historical archives and shares some literary anecdotes from a lifetime of documentary research.
Ruth Dugdall visits some famous writing spaces – from J. K. Rowling’s Edinburgh café to Dylan Thomas’s shed – and asks what a writer’s chosen workplace can reveal about their life and art.

Bethan Roberts yearns for Anglesey, a place of family history, childhood holidays and a beautiful, mysterious family language.

Morgen Witzel explores the moods of Dartmoor, and surveys the many writers, including himself, who have been inspired by its solitude.

Rebecca Goss looks up at the skies she's lived beneath, and considers how they've shaped her writing from above.

'Occasionally acceptance comes first time, but more usually when a published piece appears, it will have a string of rejections trailing visibly behind it like a comet's tail. Students need to learn that this is simply part of the process of getting published.'
'A soundtrack switches on and off, relentlessly searching for words to describe my sensations. This inner monologue accompanies me throughout my daily life, storing up ideas for me to draw on when I'm working on a book.'
'What Agatha Christie knew deep down, is that not only is the writer an outsider, but that the act of telling a story requires that outsider-ness to be part of the narration. The classic detective story tends to rely upon the central detective being outside.'
'I feel lucky to live in this era of an extraordinary range of readily available texts. I use the word 'read' loosely, often 'dip into' might better describe it, but when I'm enthralled, I can still stay up most of the night reading.'
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