What does a tick represent?

The tick of approval? And, of course, that is what the sign represents. ‘I like this; I approve; well done; pat on the back’. Those are the meanings which I used to understand the tick to say. Essays marked with ticks here and there were a boost to whatever writing had been completed. A quick […]

Incident on the Line

Remembering how my novels began their life is always a problem. With Incident on the Line I wrote a paragraph, without knowing where it was going, likening life to a concertina, each event as the pleat of the bellows. Those particular events that are marked in your memory. At the same time I wanted to explore opening […]

I should have written a diary

I recently saw a production of ‘Angels in America‘ at the National Theatre. An excellent play, subject matter, script, performances, which I remembered seeing many years ago. I could visualise the image of the angel, a huge white feathered creature spotlit at, I think, the end of the play. And that was the problem. Was […]

An end to ‘grip-lit’?

How interesting to read that an agent, not wishing to be named, expressed the view at the London book fair last week that; ‘we really need to move on … We want something more positive, something more life affirming.’ I am so relieved that this view has been expressed. I found ‘Gone Girl’ and ‘The […]

The ‘hunger’ to write

I have been intrigued by The Guardian’s series of articles in which well-known writers explore where and when they write. Some have been reassuring – the prevarication, the sidelining, the excuse of what else needs to be done. I particularly enjoyed Sebastian Barry thinking that ‘having something else to do other than writing … creates […]

Should you read a book before seeing the film?

An article in The Guardian recently, ‘Should I read the book first?’, prompted me to respond, more accurately to shout back; ‘Yes!’. However that’s a fruitless way to give my opinion and I didn’t feel that I needed to write a letter. Said article was a discussion about future adaptations to a film format.  But I fear […]

Which person narrative?

My last two published novels, ‘A Retrospective’ and ‘Ladybird, Ladybird’  have been written in first person narrative style.  ‘I’ am the character which is to some extent an easy way for the writer to reveal thoughts, feelings and actions.  The reader can also travel with that character allowing all others involved in the plot to […]

Drinking water

Why is it always alcohol?  Not only alcohol in small quantities but constant replenishments mixing wine, whisky and gin.  I am referring to the fiction I’ve recently read.  All fabulous books; ‘The Green Road’ / Anne Enright, ‘Sweet Caress’ / William Boyd, ‘High Rise’ / J G Ballard and ‘Where my heart used to beat’ / […]

Starting again

‘Incident on the Line’ is finished, the script about to be prepared and sent for publication.  The blurb, the dedication are ready too; there is a photo idea for the cover merely waiting for the lettering.  So what do I do now? I’ve been writing a few short stories over the summer, recently completed one […]

The fiction of war

Can fiction portray fact without sounding as if the research undertaken is being shoehorned in, and is, therefore, a distraction from the storyline? I’ve never wished to read factual books about war; strategies, weaponry,  battles, how they were won or lost.  Partly I fear the danger of glorifying war even though I know that those who […]