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Lesley Glaister speaks with Caroline Sanderson about the mystery of why some of her characters roar into life while others don’t; pays tribute to Hilary Mantel as a friend and mentor of her work; and argues that the heart of her fiction doesn’t only lie in darkness, but also in the triumph of the human spirit.


Michaela Morgan speaks with Ann Morgan about becoming a reader by accident, writing for reluctant readers, using stories to unlock people and the importance of not writing down to children.

I can only have one novel on the go at any given time but with creative nonfiction, I often have up to ten books that I dip in and out of! One day a prison memoir, the next an essay on Buddhist meditation, followed by a chapter on parenting a gender-creative child.
If Deenie was cool, that meant it was okay to have scoliosis and not the shameful secret it had once felt like. It affected the relationship I had with my own body and spurred me on to explore other writing about disability, and to write my own.
'In a London-centric publishing industry that has long sidelined the North West in fiction, I’m making a name for myself, not only as a writer of wrongs in Manchester, but also as an author of historical saga, set in the NHS’s first hospital in Trafford. '
'Most – and not all, but most – of those artists I met when I was a boy shared one thing in common. They wanted to create more than they wanted to do anything else. Initially I didn’t find that certainty inspiring. If anything, it was off-putting...'
'Some young adults are turning away from apps that find ever more devious ways to devour their attention, and towards the immersion of a good book. Poetry has been unexpectedly catapulted into bestseller lists by Instagram poets.'

Clare Chambers speaks with Ann Morgan about the experience of having a breakout success, the secret to creating convincing historical settings, the disruptive influence of mobile phones on storytelling and the importance of balancing pessimism and optimism in a writing career.

'I love writers who can explain hugely complex subjects in a way that makes them accessible to the lay reader. Max Hastings’s and Antony Beevor’s deservedly popular war books have done this magnificently, as did Piers Brendon’s The Dark Valley.'
''I never thought I was important. People in books — they’re important. So, when I found a girl in a book who was like me, when I read about her, that makes me feel important. So when I get to the end, I just go straight back to the beginning again.’'

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


Lydia Syson speaks with Catherine O’Flynn about moving into fiction and ghostwriting, her enthusiasm for history and her ethical motivations, the role of luck in publishing and the myths of writerly machismo.

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