'A couple of weeks after my third book, a story collection, was accepted for publication, I got diagnosed with bowel cancer. A blow like that leaves its mark, even after a complete recovery. If you can’t trust your body, how can you trust yourself? '
'Jo Ann Beard’s ‘The Fourth State of Matter’ reads like literary fiction but is actually a true account of a college massacre in the United States. Its genre-defying form was a revelation. It seemed to give me permission to write about the tragedy in my family.'
'Being bullied taught me a valuable lesson: I became self-reliant, learned to look inside for sustenance. It made me, I hope, more compassionate, more sensitive to other people, other creatures, other worlds; made me an outsider by choice. '
In ‘Writing vs Life: On Balance’, we talk to a number of RLF writers about the challenges of balancing writing against other aspects of their lives, how to stay grounded, and whether it’s ok for artists to be selfish.
'"Christ!" she said to herself, then raised her voice which luckily was rather strident, to insinuate herself into the thoughts of her creator, a writer called Regi Claire who at that moment was sorting through the laundry bin.'
'But perhaps you were never young? Perhaps you came into existence fully fledged as a know all? Remember the blackboard in the basement of our home and the shriek of the chalk?'