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Spies, Thieves and Liars

August 20th, 2021

I was reading an interview with the French-Moroccan author Leila Slimani recently (author of Adele and Lullaby, and winner of the Prix Goncourt, France’s most prestigious literary prize).  She said that her inspiration comes from the outside; so she always carries a notebook with her and because of this her children think she is a spy.  She goes on “I try to explain that a writer is a kind of spy, but also a thief and a liar. They have a very bad opinion of me”.

That might sound a very odd thing to say, but I think it’s true. If you’re going to make it as a writer, you’ve got to be attuned to everything that’s going on around you and people-watch constantly. Then you’ve got to surreptitiously take what you see and transmute it into material for your books and short stories – but you can only do this by giving it enough of a twist to turn it into something that’s out of the ordinary and gripping. So raise your glasses to the spies, the thieves and the liars amongst us! Read the rest of this entry »




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£10,000 prize – Writers Bureau partners Brit Writers’ Awards

September 17th, 2010

Mills and Boon – to some people the name conjures up a good, escapist read (the literary equivalent of comfort eating).  To others, their books are a no-go area – slush for bored housewives.  But whatever your views there’s no gainsaying their success over the past 102 years – so they must be doing something right!

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