Roopa Farooki's problem has never been writer's block, but the opposite: too many ideas, too many leads. A new book is started almost as soon as the previous one is completed. But last time she used this trusted method, her unconscious mind upended her: another book was calling out to be written. Blindly, helplessly, she allowed herself to listen.
Jo Mazelis was born in Wales and lives there now, but she resists being pegged as a 'local author' just because she’s published by a Welsh Press. Here she reflects on the pull and push of regionalism. Why, when her novel is set in France with an international cast, does it get shelved next to Day Walks in the Brecon Beacons and Welsh Teatime Recipes?
In Mexico today real-life crime is both stranger and more egregious than fiction. But where does this leave writers who wish to document gang culture, random killings and government corruption? Nick Caistor discovers that the spirit of truth-telling is alive and kicking, and that poems and novels are as much vehicles of protest as demonstrating on the streets.