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Penny Black speaks with Frances Byrnes about teenage summers in Vienna, the shock of revisiting old contracts, and how her desire to speak perfect German accidentally led to a passionate career in writing for theatre.

‘I lived in Andersonstown, Belfast, I was teaching there. And what I saw incensed me, so I wrote about that.’

Ruth Thomas explains how the publishing industry went cool on her genre, and how a 60p discovery at a charity book fair helped her regain her mission and extend her range.

Mimi Thebo considers the myriad ways writers can fail, and describes how she came back from failure, and before that, from something even more serious.