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'Sometimes writer’s block and unrealised projects amount to the same thing. The research takes over, the idea dwarfs the actuality, and, ultimately, nothing gets written. In certain cases, procrastination poses as progress. This is one of those cases.'
13-10-2022

Michael Bond speaks with Caroline Sanderson about his enduring fascination with observing the ways in which we are influenced by our social and physical surroundings, the joys of fandom and the art of navigation, both outdoors and on the page.

'I avoid like the plague fiction on any current project. I think that would be fatal, in that I might subconsciously plagiarise an incident or character. Or even worse, think that they had done it so well I didn't dare dip my writing toes in the same water.'
Chris Arthur asks whether there’s such a thing as rules for writing, explores the enduring appeal of writers’ rulebooks, and revisits a classic of the genre, Strunk & White’s The Elements of Style.
'Business class flights out to Dubai, five-star hotel accommodation and three meals a day, plus snacks — all paid for. A greenroom where wine was served 24 hours a day. Chauffeur-driven cars... My God, I thought, are all literary festivals like this?'
'I represented Queen Mary University on University Challenge. It's not every day you get to team up with the lead singer of Iron Maiden, Bruce Dickinson; a TV presenter, Adrian Chiles; and Taiwanese chef. Ching He Huang. '
Shanta Everington describes her experiences as an adoptive parent and how adopting her son led to a life-changing project about unrepresented forms of motherhood.
'I'll resort to tea, but anything stronger would make things much worse. The likes of John Berryman or Dylan Thomas couldn't cope without alcohol. For others, it's been sex or the occult, and Sylvia Plath found inspiration in the proximity of death.'
Sophie Duffy tackles the taboo subject of death and dying and shares how facing her own mortality revolutionised her writing.
'In the Hay green room, I once met Carlos Fuentes. I admired him so much that I took a selfie with him; only the second time I have ever done such a crass thing. In terms of the actual event, if asked, I would say: prepare, prepare, prepare.'
04-08-2022

Lydia Syson speaks with Catherine O’Flynn about childhood freedom in Botswana, how Critical Theory nearly destroyed her writing career, history as vicarious travel and her obsessive accuracy when it comes to historical and geographical details.

'At the last minute, a prison officer warns me that if my questions elicit further evidence, the prisoner will be tried again. Sweat trickles down my back as I lock eyes with him. I can almost hear the crew behind me hold their breath.'
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