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Comment from the book world in April 2023

April 2023

'A big, fat doorstep of a novel'

24 April 2023

‘My favourite reading experience, if I was going to choose one, would be a big, fat doorstep of a novel, so I always had in my mind that I would try to write the kind of book that I liked to read, the kind of multi-generational, big bed of a novel that you sink into...

When I do my research, I am always looking for the granular detail - the smell of the food, say - and I tried to inhabit it as much as I could...

I think with a big novel it's hard to get far enough away from it that you can see the whole, particularly if you are trying to juggle writing with jobs and family stuff. You tend to write in quite small chunks and you're just writing what is right in front of you.

The Whalebone Theatre is also about carrying on despite loss, continuing to put on a show and celebrating when you can. It's quite a poignant lesson, and a strange one, to think that fiction characters that you have made up entirely have something to teach you.'

British novelist Joanna Quinn, whose first novel The Whalebone Theatre was published last year, in the Bookseller

'Stories stay with us'

10 April 2023

'Stories stay with us: tales of bravery visit us when fear peeps round the corner, comedies sprinkle us in smiles on a train ride to work. Characters become our friends and our confidantes, and worlds explored through the imagination, incredibly, share space with our memories. A story shared transports reader and listeners alike on a joint adventure never to be forgotten. When we open a book there's no telling where it may take us or the profound impact it may have on our lives, and so, it is an honour to mark World Book Day by talking to Her Majesty about the meaning and memories of stories, and a love of reading.'

Joseph Coelho, UK Children's Laureate and author of Werewolf Club Rules, the Luna Loves series Overheard in a Tower Block and How To Write Poems, after a conversation with Queen Camilla on World Book Day, in Bookbrunch