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'Are these people real to me?'

22 September 2013

'I just want to tell a good story so I always ask myself, are these people real to me? The things I write about are completely removed from my own life, but people to know the characters better. There are schools of thought that dispense with all that now, but I think if there are strong characters, people want to know more.

I have talked before about the withholding of information from the reader in a great book like Jane Austen's Emma and I do think it should be part of any story, if it is told well, whether or not it is detective fiction. The reader needs to be thinking, what does it mean? Why did they do that?'

Ruth Rendell