‘Planning, mapping out a plot, creating characters, building the world they inhabit, is itself a creative process; in historical fiction I spend a lot of time looking at the history.’
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‘Magpie-like I collect these tantalising fragments. They stay with me, glittering at the edges of consciousness until I pick one out intending to polish it until it gleams.’
‘I am a planner. But a kind of magic happens in the writing itself, whereby plots I’ve planned veer off in unexpected directions.’
Paul Dowswell speaks with Catherine O’Flynn about the constraints of the publishing industry, the importance of drama in the stories you choose to write, and what he wants to convey to young readers about zealotry and totalitarianism.