Monthly Archives: December 2012

That voice

“Far off and strange, a voice is in my ear, Two voices, his and mine: the words we say Fall strangely, like a dream, across the day.” Arthur Symons, The Absinthe Drinker It’s no accident that I often fall back on sexual metaphors when talking about books; writers practise the fine art of seduction to put readers in the mood.

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A workshop with my characters

My characters and I recently sat down to read through some early drafts together. Big mistake. Constance, Robert and Pierre are now demanding rewrites and both Bram and Bosie are threatening to sue. May this workshop transcript serve as a cautionary lesson for all would-be historical novelists. Workshop transcript: Constance: In this scene, why don’t I see the obvious? Everyone

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Beautiful Lies by Clare Clark

“The bitter October weather had not prevented the swelling numbers of destitute men and women sleeping rough in Trafalgar Square, and, under pressure from the Tory newspapers who condemned the situation as a disgrace to the capital, Warren had drastically stepped up police efforts to keep them out. For weeks his officers had been carrying out a campaign of harassment

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A list of book lists

What can I say? It’s that time of year and I’m more than a little obsessive-compulsive anyway. I like book lists as an opportunity to find the next good book to read, not as an exercise in self-flagellation (“oh the shame of not having read that classic”) or self-congratulation. I can’t commit to listing my all-time favourites (at least not

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