How The Idea Became The Book - Part Two

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

I was sitting having dinner with a friend of mine the other evening, discussing yet another rumour that the writer Elena Ferrante is a man. (She is not.) We were complaining at length at the assumption that any anonymous female writer must perforce be male (in fact the opposite is more likely: George Eliot, Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell, George Sand, Robert Galbraith...) And I suddenly remembered …

How The Idea Became The Story: Part One

Tuesday, 5 September 2017

It's surprisingly hard for me to remember the process by which an idea becomes a book. Maybe if I was the kind of author who wrote a lot of notes while I am figuring things out it would be easier. But I've never been a note taker. I envy writers who walk around with little notebooks making striking, original observations about the world. (I have tried to do that but I'm not a very observant person…

Reading The Complete Works of Shakespeare

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

So, having got my idea for a book about a clone of Shakespeare, I started on my research. I needed to know about clones, and I needed to know about Shakespeare. I read some books and articles about identical twins, particularly identical twins separated at birth, who, intriguingly, tend to be more alike than those raised together. (If you find this topic as interesting as I do, there was a particularly…

Where Do You Get Your Ideas?

Thursday, 10 August 2017

People always want to know where writers get their ideas from. Let me tell you: ideas are the least of my worries. I have ideas all the time. For example: what if everyone else in the world can read minds except for me? I occasionally worry about this on the bus, when I have a rude thought about someone and then they immediately look annoyed. Then I spend the next few stops trying to figure out whether…

Welcome early birds!

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Hello everyone! And particularly hello to early bird pledgers who are already aboard the Oh I Do Like To Be train. I'm already getting into trouble with my mixed metaphors there, although sometimes early birds do board trains: on at least one occasion I have seen a pigeon travelling on the London Underground. Anyway it's apt that I would be getting tangled up with my metaphors, because my book is…

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