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'Some of my fellow coffee shop typists seem quite happy to join the queue for a refill, leaving their precious equipment and wordcount sitting on an unattended table. I’m far too paranoid to get up without packing everything away.'
'My desire to make science fiction feel grounded, and contemporary drama strange and surreal, is probably just another example of human contrariness. Ask me for a story about apples and there’s some part of me that wants to do a painting of pears.'
23-02-2023

Andrew Greig speaks with Doug Johnstone about historical fiction, his fascination with Scottish culture in its many guises, nearly dying of a brain cyst, the death of ambition and relief of being an ‘onlooker not a player’ and coming full-circle back to making music.

16-02-2023

Andrew Greig speaks with Doug Johnstone about 60s music as his gateway to poetry, his accidental success as a poet while failing to becoming a musician, how a poem got him a place on Himalayan climbing expeditions and the value he places on triggering emotion in his readers.

'I could picture the scene clearly — wooden panelling on the walls, the newspaper held across the fireplace to momentarily stop the draught while lighting the coals. Suddenly what I believed to be an exotic story contained a personal element.'
'I want to write about people who are creative, courageous, eccentric, mystical. They have to have a less appreciated side that deserves attention. They have to be absolutely themselves. What could be more inspiring?'
12-01-2023
RLF writers consider what advice might be most helpful for those hoping to pursue the writing life, including thoughts on time management, careers guidance and maintaining emotional equilibrium through the highs and lows of the creative process.
08-12-2022

Michael Bond and our host Julia Copus speak about three objects that have a special significance in Michael's writing life, and Michael passes on three of his top writing tips, in 'Three Little Things'.

'Rejection is familiar to every writer. It was already familiar to me when I first sent out my book proposal, as it is to so many other freelance journalists who pitch ideas to editors. Sometimes you can learn something from rejection, sometimes you can’t.'
'One cannot deny the existence of a genre hierarchy among writers. Bruce Chatwin turned down the Thomas Cook Travel Book of the Year award, and its cheque, because, he averred, ‘I’m not a travel writer’. The genre was beneath him. '
'In my efforts to be ‘the world’s amanuensis’ I can only convey a tiny fraction of nature’s wonders. My books are as much records of failing to catch the world’s whispered essays as they are transcriptions of the incredible things they say. '
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