‘Is a certain type of lined, exercise book bought only from a certain stationery shop in Edinburgh essential to the process of composition? Or perhaps yellow legal pads are their surface of choice?’
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‘I remember writing my fifth novel with four children under five, between three-hour breastfeeds, lecturing and marking papers while they slept. ‘
‘Plans so detailed as to be half a book in themselves. Finishing off each day with a paragraph in capitals of What I Am Going To Write Next. ‘
That first phrase or line is like a magnet drawing other words to it and they begin to gather, sometimes quickly, sometimes over years, but again have to be scribbled down before I forget them.