22 March 2011
The more of yourself or your experiences you can put into your writing, the more authentic your story becomes,' says award winning crime writer Minette Walters in one of the thirty-plus interviews published in Writers in Black & White, in which writers in just about every genre talk informally but informatively about their work ...
Children’s author Elizabeth Laird, for example, believes that too many writers try to write another Harry Potter or Agatha Christies instead of being their own original selves. ‘Usually I start with a strong feeling,’ she says, ‘which then leads into a story. ‘It might be jealousy, it might be anger, or courage, or the power of love. Then I build the characters up and flesh things out from there.’
But what makes a book successful? Joanne Harris, famous for Chocolat, believes that: ‘Books find their own readers.’ She never tries to predict who her readers will be, nor how many there will be, but she argues that: ‘Sales departments still live under the delusion that women like to read about women.’
But let’s go back to Minette Walters for some wise words about grammar: ‘If editors are faced by a load of mistakes… they immediately get a sense that a person isn’t up to standard.’