Category Archives: Authors

Writers’ quote of the day: Cheryl Rogers on making a start

‘I don’t pretend to understand how the writing process works.  I do know it is never, ever easy.  And that something happens; bits from the past come together to help form characters, plot, even dialogue.  That’s if I make a … Continue reading

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Writers’ quote of the day: Andrew Cowan on the importance of reading

‘I don’t believe you can be a writer unless you are also a reader.  If writing is the out-breath, the exhalation, then reading should be the in-breath, the inspiration.’ ~ Andrew Cowan

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Writers’ quote of the day: crime novelist Martin Edwards on improving a manuscript by revision

‘Revision is, for me, a crucial part of the process.  Although, to an extent, I try to improve what I write as I go along, the reality (for me, anyway) is that until I’ve finished the book, it isn’t possible … Continue reading

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Writers’ quote of the day: Margery Allingham on planning your novel and controlling your characters

‘I don’t want it to be thought that I am one of those dear old ladies who just write down the first thing that comes into their heads and hope the finished page will be entertaining. Rather am I one … Continue reading

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Writers’ quote of the day: Janice Law on ‘writing what you know’

‘One of the cliches of the writing business, and standard advice for young writers, is write what you know.  This is simply good sense, ignorance not being bliss in the writing game. The problem is that writing what you know is … Continue reading

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Writers’ quote of the day: Ray Bradbury, Alfred Hitchcock and James Scott Bell on why fiction is not real life

‘Fiction is not reality!  Fiction is the stylized rendition of reality for an emotional effect . . . Reality is boring.  Reality is not drama.  Reality is to be avoided at all costs.  “We must stay drunk on writing,” Ray … Continue reading

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Writers’ quote of the day: John le Carré and James Scott Bell on how to begin a novel

‘As John le Carré once put it, “The cat sat on the mat is not the beginning of a story.  The cat sat on the dog’s mat is.”  Begin your novel at the point of disturbance, because disturbance is conflict.’ ~ … Continue reading

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My idea of heaven: a room full of books — but what a room, and what books!

Click on the images to enlarge them. Details here.

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Quote of the day: Flannery O’Connor on Ayn Rand

‘I hope you don’t have friends who recommend Ayn Rand to you.  The fiction of Ayn Rand is as low as you can get re. fiction.  I hope you picked it up off the floor of the subway and threw … Continue reading

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Writers’ quote of the day: Flannery O’Connor on Christian writers and poorly written novels

‘Every day we see people who are busy distorting their talents in order to enhance their popularity or to make money that they could do without.  We can safely say that this, if done consciously, is reprehensible.  But even oftener, … Continue reading

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The world’s greatest thriller writer, Deon Meyer, talks about South Africa, series detectives and ‘7 Days’

South African thriller writer Deon Meyer on storytelling, credibility and how crime fiction relates to society I mostly follow the dictum “conflict is the mother of suspense”, so I’ll be looking at as many sources of conflict for the protagonists … Continue reading

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Should fiction writers really “start with a hook” as American* thriller writer Linwood Barclay claims?

Here’s a quote from highly successful thriller writer Linwood Barclay: Some authors, when starting a novel, imagine a place first.  Others, a character starts taking shape in their head.  I start with a hook, a situation, a ‘what if.’  What … Continue reading

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Just what was there to objectively admire about Gore Vidal?

Gore Vidal’s Fan Club: What, exactly, did they admire about the man? asks Andrew Ferguson The most puzzling thing about the career of Gore Vidal, who went toes-up last week at 86, was the reverence in which he was held by … Continue reading

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Writers’ quote of the day: C. C. Benison on how to beat writer’s block

‘Buy a gallon of BumGlue™.  Apply a liberal coating to a chair in front of a computer.  Sit in it.  Do not attempt to get up until you have an idea.  When you have an idea, record it.  Then apply … Continue reading

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Writers’ quote of the day: Camilla Lackberg on marketing and establishing a brand

‘I used to be in marketing so it was easy for me to use those skills in my own career and I’ve never seen a conflict in that.  The first years I took beatings from within the literary world for … Continue reading

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Quote of the day: G. K. Chesterton on humility

More great quotes here.

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Anti-Catholic bigot and vampire author Anne Rice returns to her pornography-writing past

Anne Rice Returns to Porn by Mark Judge How sad.  How sad and how terribly dull. Anne Rice has returned to the porn business.  The erstwhile Catholic [now anti-Catholic] and author of the first second-wave vampire novels in the 1970s … Continue reading

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C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien show how to begin a fantasy novel

‘There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.’ ~ The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis ‘In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.  Not a nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with … Continue reading

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Writers’ quote of the day: Robert Harris on writing thrillers

‘Don’t try to write too much in a single session.  One thousand words a day is quite enough.  Stop after about four or five hours.  Remember that most writing is done in the subconscious (“the boys in the basement,” as Stephen … Continue reading

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Writers’ quote of the day: James M. Cain on tone, or writing as the character would write

‘I make no conscious effort to be tough, or hard-boiled, or grim, or any of the things I am usually called.  I merely try to write as the character would write, and I never forget that the average man, from … Continue reading

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Writers’ quote of the day: Eric Wright on why you should do your research *last*

‘Do your research last.  Don’t waste your time, like a graduate student researching the cost of a seventeenth century haircut as necessary background to his thesis on Milton.  How do you know what research you’ll need until you see what … Continue reading

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Writers’ quote of the day: Joy Fielding on summarizing your novel

‘Once you have an idea for a book, you need to be able to sum it up in one or two sentences.  For motivation, think of it as one of those brief summaries on The New York Times Bestseller List.  … Continue reading

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Writers’ quote of the day: Andrew Pyper on ‘writer’s block’

‘If you didn’t show up to work for a week and, when asked by your boss for an explanation, you answered “I had job block,” she’d fire you on the spot, right?  Keep this in mind the next time you’re … Continue reading

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Writers’ quote of the day: Francine Prose on learning to write

‘In becoming a writer, I read and reread the authors I most loved.  I read for pleasure, first, but also more analytically, conscious of how sentences were formed and information was being conveyed, how the writer was structuring a plot, … Continue reading

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Writers’ quote of the day: Frederick Forsyth on writing what you know

‘Write about what you know personally, limited though it may be.  Get your facts right.  Try to write a story with a beginning, a middle and an end.’ ~ Frederick Forsyth

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