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I’ve continued to incorporate myths, modern myth-making, magic realism, as part of my writing. It manifests in my drama for theatre and screen, and both short and the long-form choreopoetry I write. It all stems from this formative period as a young child.
Jasbinder Bilan explores the enduring appeal of magic and fantasy in children’s fiction, and how mythology from her Indian roots influences her work.
'Didn't Shakespeare combine the quotidian with the supernatural, the mythical with the philosophical, all the time? Didn't the Greeks? Didn't the authors of the Bible?'
'Those girls took their lives in their hands every time they set foot outside the front door. But Chalet Girls met disaster head on. They jolly well rolled their sleeves up, and got on with it; rockfalls, plunges through the ice... even scheming Nazis.'
John Harrison describes the last voyage of the Temeraire, once part of Nelson’s fleet at Trafalgar, and the ship’s subsequent immortalisation as a symbol of English identity in the famous painting by the artist JMW Turner.
'I've written elsewhere about the complete absence of any Asian girls in anything I read until I was an adult. The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan became the first book I had ever read that put my life on the page.'
'George MacDonald Fraser's phrasing and structure are so fluid and smooth that reading his sentences always makes me feel happy. Second, he's the absolute master of making historical details seem real.'
15-10-2020

Zoë Marriott speaks with Amanda Whittington about identity politics and feminism in her YA fantasy fiction, why diversity is a deliberate and essential choice and how she fuses historical facts with fantasy worlds to find a 21st century truth.

27-08-2020

Roopa Farooki speaks with Jane Draycott about writing of deception within families, the monster hiding in us all, embellishing the story of her father’s ‘astonishing and wayward life’ and the importance of diverse characters in writing for young people.

As a writer inspired by the natural world, Tiffany Murray has observed the damage being visited upon the environment by unbridled development; here she meditates on how certain writers might process this.
'There is a silver cloud in everything, even disability, as I can now reserve eighteen books at time instead of six; there is real bliss in knowing that there is always something new to read.'
23-07-2020

Marcy Kahan describes how a sudden, unexpected mid-career dip led her to playwriting manuals, while maintaining a ‘respectful ambivalence’ towards the genre.

Zoë Marriott explains how character is the North Star that steers her journey through each new fantasy novel, shaping every aspect of setting and story.

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