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Comment from the book world in September 2014

September 2014

'One of the most privileged existences you can imagine'

14 September 2014

‘Don't believe any novelist who tells you it's all agony. It's actually one of the most privileged existences you can imagine - assuming you can live by it...

I couldn't write all the time. As a writer, you have to come out into the world. I don't have a Salinger or Pynchon impulse. There are so many things to do that are interesting. I do half a dozen literary festivals a year. The pleasure of festivals is meeting up with other authors and friends...

I think I will write, in my 70s, more novellas. I love the idea of sitting down to read something in three hours - about the length of an opera, or a long movie, or a play where all of its structure can be held in the mind. A novella is a great length, and it's a demanding genre in which things have to be settled quickly.'

Ian McEwan, author of The Children Act, in the Observer

' I already have the story in my head'

5 September 2014

‘I write by hand, then type it up. When I've finished a scene, I'll read it and, if it needs editing, I write all over it, then retype it. I fax the copy to a typist, who puts it on a disc, and she faxes it back, then I edit it again.

When I start a new novel I already have the story in my head, including the ending, so I begin by doing an outline and then write it consecutively - page one is always page one.

I've always loved writing stories. Some of my earliest memories are of my mother reading them to me, and by the age of seven I was writing my own. When I was 10, she sent one to a children's magazine in London, and I couldn't believe it when they said they wanted to publish it. You could say my destiny was sealed.'

Barbara Taylor Bradford, author of A Woman of Substance and Cavendon Hall,  in The Times



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