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'Writers must cast aside whichever exciting project they are now working on to go back in time, just as the reader is taking the book forward into their lives. Pity the poor writer who struggles to remember why they wrote the book in the first place. '
'Publication is wonderful — both euphoric and humbling, and I’ve been dazed by it each time. But in the days and weeks that follow a book’s release, I feel a strange sadness. As if something had physically left me, that I looked for but couldn’t find.'
'Air Mail letter to my student self which has taken two months in transit: OK, so you hate being in Russia, the Soviet Union isn't what you imagined, you haven't got a clue what's going on or what anyone is saying and haven't seen a piece of fruit in months.'
28-09-2023

Lottie Moggach speaks with Catherine O’Flynn about following in the footsteps of a novelist parent, the joys of plot and research, the experience of diving into writing historical fiction, and how to answer when someone asks you what you do.

'I arrived early, determined to take it all in. The sun was high; I looked over crowds in the gardens. I was excited, but not anxious. I could do this, relish this. This was a huge moment. Everything was perfect. Then I decided to enter the festival bookshop.'
'It was always my intention to bounce between eras and genres, like Iain Banks with and without his ‘M’. Looking at Hilary Mantel’s early career, she did the same. It is possible, with sheer bloody-mindedness, to carve your own niche.'
'In today's climate, you are very much expected to do your own marketing as far as possible. People who draw a salary from marketing want to know what marketing you are doing for yourself while importuning you to tell them what they ought to do.'
24-08-2023

Syd Moore speaks with Doug Johnstone about her early writing life and the inclusive inspiration of seminal 80s and 90s culture, unexpectedly becoming a tv presenter on Channel 4, the self-doubt she experienced on not getting published, and the problematic Essex Girl stereotype.

'When I started writing in my teens, I made sure the entire family knew about it by donning my writing trousers – jeans with quotes from Sylvia Plath scribbled on them – and wafting upstairs to my writing desk. Years later, I wrote a poem about that desk.'
'I was bundled into a double-act with the late Howard Marks, international drug trafficker turned memoirist. The performance amounted to Mr Marks giving his usual drinking and spliffing stage turn, interspersed with me reading successive passages.'
'I self-published my first series in the States. I was the proverbial old dog, learning new tricks! I designed my own Twitter, Instagram and Facebook banners. I commissioned book covers from a professional designer. I organised a US blog tour. '
'A thoroughly enjoyable event for my World War One novel was based around a period afternoon tea, complete with posters, bunting and wartime recipes, and the question and answer session occurring speed-dating style as I moved around tables. '
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