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Cynan Jones speaks with James McConnachie about writing as a kind of imaginative remembering, the act of taking a novel from ninety to thirty thousand words in a single cut, and why it’s good to have more abandoned books in drawers than published ones on the shelf.

‘I can usually hold the first few words or line for an hour or two, but that’s all. Although I can practice writing I have to be ready and prepared.’
‘When my dying father contacted me after having vanished for thirty-five years and I visited him the Latin quarter, I was afraid to go back.’