All items: Daphne du Maurier

Her mother’s worsening dementia made Penny Hancock realise how important it is for people to feel at home — and why so many writers identify with a specific place.

James Woodall speaks with Robin Blake about how his mother is accidentally responsible for his writing career and some of his subject matter, how his love of Spanish music eventually led him to Latin America, and wanting to escape the constraints of biography.

Amanda Mitchison speaks with John Siddique about her family’s writing legacy, her eccentric newsroom roles in the Vatican and Cairo, the current plight of career journalists, and her wistful links to Scotland.

Revisiting a beautiful spot on the Greek mainland after an absence of many years, Elanor Dymott reflects on why she was drawn to write about it — and wonders whether her memories of the place were as accurate as she’d thought.

Joanna Nadin tells George Miller about growing up in Essex, her earlier career in politics, and writing about ‘extraordinary things happening to very ordinary people, in very ordinary places’.

The strange, diminutive ‘dwarf’s apartment’ in Mantua’s Ducal Palace inspired Clare Colvin to write a historical novel. She later discovered the truth about those dwarfs — and discovered, too, that many novels have been born inside mysterious or hidden chambers.