All items: Maria McCann

When I simply consumed books with no aspiration to write one, every novel was a plus. It existed only to give me joy and if it failed there were plenty others.
Each time I return to Middlemarch l find it has changed; on first reading it was the story of Dorothea, nowadays she has to share my interest with less glamorous characters.
Writing, to you, is an enchanted pool; you hover round the edges admiring the grace of the swimmers, but you don't plunge in.
There's a Library Shelf in the living room where all the through-traffic is stored; library books, obviously, plus books borrowed from friends and books I think friends might like to borrow.
There's a wayward part of me that resists plotting and wants to just plunge in. But if I yield to that temptation I risk the book being stillborn, so these days I tend to play safe.