‘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. ‘
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.
‘He told me he had reached chapter five and had just killed off one of his characters. He didn’t know the reason for this, or who had done the deed.’