Overheard

I began my course in shorthand a few weeks ago and today I started a new job so I’m finding that I have less and less time to work through the items on my to-write list.  That’s why I thought I would cheat a little today and give you some quotes from talks and author events that I’ve been to recently that didn’t make it into other blog posts. Just for a bit of light relief, you understand!

“Dickens couldn’t write about sex for toffee.” – Joanna Trollope

“You have separate eggs to make the omelette but once it’s made you can’t treat it as separate eggs.” – Jenny Joseph (on combining meaning and form in poetry)

“I am not a fan of Sayers. I find her writing overblown and I find Lord Peter Wimsey insufferable. He’s a man whose face you’d never grow tired of slapping.” – Val McDermid

“From the Chalet School books I learned that there were three institutions of higher learning: The Sorbonne, Oxford, and the Kensington School of Needlework.” – Val McDermid

“I didn’t want to write ever again. I wrote too much too quickly after Behind the Scenes – that’s why I wrote the short stories. I felt it was very important to write short stories to train myself not to finish everything.” – Kate Atkinson

“If you’re an author of a series of novels and you tell your editor you’ve come up with a radical new idea, their sphincter tends to tighten a bit.” – Ian Rankin, turning to stare intently at the sign language signer.

“Georgian houses are very rational, very square. They’re big and they’ve got lots of light – and I like red brick.” – Sarah Waters on why she chose to model Hundreds Hall on Georgian mansions.

The Little Stranger is my first novel that doesn’t have a gay element. I was apologising to lesbian audiences months in advance of publication.” – Sarah Waters

“I’ve just never done an event in Cambridge because I’m so worried people will come out and say, ‘why did you write that about my town?'” – Kate Atkinson, on Case Histories.

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