Neil Rollinson explores the relationship between writing and alcohol and considers some famous writers who found their muse – and sometimes their nemesis – at the bottom of a bottle.
'Disconcertingly, 'memory' frequently changes shape. First there were folders of paper, then square floppy discs, then round CDs, extra disc drives, and now tiny memory sticks that are easily lost. Will I be forced to rent online storage?'
'My mind wasn't really on the job. Within six months of my arrival in San Francisco, I was married to a gay man who I would later nurse, as he died of AIDS. I was twenty-two.'
'I met the real-life inspiration for one of the women characters, Carolyn Cassady, wife of Neal, or 'Dean' as he is known in the novel. She'd just published a memoir describing what it was really like to be a woman in the Beat world.'
'He stood up and toured the crowded shelves of his study, picking up a book here and a book there. "Read these", he said, "Come back later in the summer and we'll discuss them."'
Most writers need to support themselves financially, one reason why the RLF has proved a lifeline to many. Sue Fletcher pays tribute to the organisation which has enabled her to ‘write without worrying’, and reflects on the wide variety of other jobs she has taken over the years in order to support her writing career.
Horatio Clare speaks with James McConnachie about the pleasures and plights of Welsh sheep-farming, the creative criminal record of his youth, and why writers should 'live it and leave it until it's ready' when using real life as material.
Jonathan Tulloch considers ways in which train travel can stimulate a writer’s creative flow, with reference to famous practitioners for whom this method of transport proved inspiring, such as Edward Thomas, Thomas Hardy, and Philip Larkin.