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.Read more
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?Read more
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 -
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.Read more