'With the exception of some very big names and some airport novels, there is simply no money in books. This has corroded pretty much every professional publishing relationship: that of writer to agent, agent to publisher, and publisher to writer and bookseller.'
'Ultimately, life-writing needs to move outside the self if it is to find a place in the world; beyond the experience of catharsis for the writer, the stories must resonate with readers, who recognise them as their own.'
Paul Dodgson considers the dramatic potential in the ordinary, and how a seemingly insignificant moment can be the perfect entry point to writing a life story.
'This kind of swotting was highly risky in my state comprehensive, where any show of keenness was likely to be met with a great deal of jibing and jostling, in this case accusations of being teacher's pet.'
Penny Hancock describes an unforeseen benefit of months of lockdown: discovering how much she loves the house she’s lived in for many years.
'When I first heard a poet read, in a chemistry laboratory at Newcastle University, he was Ted Hughes; his gruff Yorkshire voice threw me onto a frosty moor. I could see horses. Hear horizons.'
'The novel was written in a language deeply unfamiliar to me, the broken English of a black girl in the American South of the early twentieth century, and it spoke to me like nothing I had ever read.'