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That Coming Alive Moment

I was asked a very good question at a book talk this week - 

Why do so many journalists go on to become authors? 

There are many theories and thoughts, but here's mine, and I wonder if it holds an important lesson for writers.


Why a picture of pipes and wires? Because this, the wisdom of the internet tells me, is a conduit. 

And when you become a conduit as an author, that's a big moment. 

You spend months planning the book and the characters, the settings, the twists and turns, and then you start to write. 

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The Fraudster Factor

There's an unpleasant feeling which can sometimes come calling for a writer, and it paid me a visit this week. 

I think of it as the fraudster factor. 

I've had a great few days. I've done a couple of events talking about the new book, Justice Mirror, and also some teaching (thanks to everyone who came along for our Novel Writing weekend in Herne Bay) - 


(Some lovely smiles, and I don't think they're all faked.) 

Anyhow, despite everything going well, I've still had this nagging voice whispering slyly in my ear - 

Who are you to teach writing? What do you know about it? And who are you to talk about books, characters, settings and stories? Why do you think you've got a clue what you're on about?

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That Reading Aloud Moment

I've heard some authors say they get the most nervous when reading aloud from their books. 

Not me. I love it. In fact, it's one of my favourite parts of giving a talk. 

I suspect that even shows in this picture from the launch of my new book, The Justice Mirror - 

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On a practical level, I like giving a reading because it's one of the few parts of a talk when I know exactly what's coming next. 

But from the mandatory more arty, wafty, writerly creative type angle, it's also about the only time you actually get a sense of how your scribblings are working. 

This writing lark isn't like the theatre, when the actors can sense the impact of their work on the audience. Or art, when a creator can lurk around a gallery to see what people make of their efforts.

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