The Writing Life: Aiming High

For me, aiming high in writing is to simply try to do the best I can, write as well as I can, and try to express my ideas in a way that satisfies both my potential readers and myself. But of course, there is always more to it than that, or this article could start …

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Why I Write Fantasy: Honouring Influences Without Being a Slave to Them.

I think many writers spend some time forging their own writing identity: the what it is they want to write, and how they wish to present it to others. For many a young writer there is a phase of aping the things they love, and it can be a very conscious process. It certainly was …

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Why I Write Fantasy: The Travel Begins at Home Edition

All writing, it seems to me, begins in your own head. Sometimes it will be written as a strong spontaneous reaction to outside stimulus – protest songs, polemical essays, critical feuds, a satirical impulse to start telling a particular story in order to hit a particular target, but for me, the story starts as a …

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The Writing Life: Travel as Inspiration

For a long time I did not travel. My memories of flight were fuzzy – laying my jacket down on the floor and sleeping between the seats on a flight across the Atlantic in 1974. The weird sensation of the ground I walked on not being solid, the vague bounce I had never previously experienced …

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The Writing Life: Letting Go of Your First Love

The first love you wrote, I mean. Of course, many authors successfully publish their first loves, and do astoundingly well. For others there is another story, of a first, or first and second and more novels written and discarded, before a book is released to the reading world. I’m guessing that one of those discarded …

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Why I Write Fantasy: A Suitcase of Treasures, Part 2

Last week, I wrote about the green suitcase in our garage that yielded two world-changing books, the first of which was Nine Princes in Amber. The second book I found in that fateful suitcase (and now that I write about this, it is such a strange happenstance to have so impacted an impressionable child) was …

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Why I Write Fantasy: A Suitcase of Treasures, Part 1

In the mid 70s I lived for a couple of years in the USA. When we moved back to Scotland, a large green suitcase came with us. This piece of luggage lived in our garage for years, and when I eventually explored it, I discovered that among the many odds and ends it housed were …

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The Writing Life: It Takes a Team

I tried for years to transform my writing from manuscript to novel on my own, and for years it did not work. Eventually, I recognized that I needed a team. Only through accepting this, that I was not equipped to do it alone, did I finally flourish…and I intend to do a whole lot more …

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Why I Write Fantasy: Primal Influences

Like so many others, it is the tales that captured me as a child that have led me to this place where I declare myself a fantasy writer. There were fairy tale collections, those of Grimm and Andersen, and the Ladybird Well-Loved Tales series that each came in their own slim-line hard back with wonderful …

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