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'I hate the stage after I've finished a book'

12 January 2015

'I began with thinking about how almost all families have such a sense of pride in their specialness, even if they have no real reason to make them feel so proud. I think that every family has stories that they choose. They filter out many of the stories that they could have, and they select one or two to be their family's stories. I'm always interested in why those... why not others?

When I began (the novel) I thought I would like to go on writing forever and never finish, because I hate the stage after I've finished a book. It's as if you have a bunch of imaginary playmates and you get all excited about them, then all of a sudden you have to expose them to the cold, cruel world and have people judge them.

I'm astonished that I even became a writer. It doesn't feel quite like a real profession. I used to say that I'm still waiting to see what I'm going to do but I'm 73 now, so I guess I can't say that any more!'

Anne Tyler, author of The Accidental Tourist, talking about her new novel A Spool of Blue Thread in the Bookseller