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17/11/2014 by Steve Berry and Phil Norman
The writers of A History of Sweets in 50 Wrappers, Steve Berry and Phil Norman, count us down their top 10 iconic British sweets.
18/11/2014 by Cat Anderson
The children's specialist at the Edinburgh Bookshop, Cat Anderson, writes about trends she's spotted in the UK YA market.
17/11/2014 by We Love This Book
The author of Goodnight Mr Tom tells us about her new book, Impossible!
10/07/2014 by Anonymous
Author John Burley explores how to put together a crime novel, while editor at Avon, Lydia Vassar-Smith, explains the sub-genres of crime and how to avoid crime cliches.
08/07/2014 by Anna James
Close to the Wind is Jon Walter's debut novel and the first book published by a newly independent David Fickling Books. Here's an extract from the opening of the book to whet your appetite...
03/07/2014 by Tim Hall
Tim Hall’s debut novel, Shadow of the Wolf, recasts Robin Hood as an elemental creature of the forest. Gods and monsters stalk his Sherwood. And yet it is Marian who steals the show. Here the author celebrates the changing face of this indomitable heroine. In the first draft of my novel, Maid Marian played a small but significant part. However, this wasn’t good enough for her – she demanded centre stage. With every rewrite, Marian became spikier, tougher, smarter, quicker, until finally she left Robin Loxley trailing in her wake. As her role grew and grew she became a leader, a survivor – not to mention a drug peddler and a poisoner. By now her name was just plain Marian, of course; she refused absolutely to wear the sobriquet ‘maid.’ What’s interesting is how this mirrors the development of Marian over the centuries. Starting from nothing – she was entirely absent from the earliest Robin Hood ballads – she elbowed her way in as a love interest, and then increasingly claimed starring roles. These are some of her highs and lows.
02/07/2014 by Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice
Jimmy Rice and Laura Tait are the joint authors of The Best Thing That Never Happened To Me. Here Jimmy and Laura share their tips for what not to do on a first date.
02/07/2014 by Nikesh Shukla
Nikesh Shukla's new novel, Meatspace, is a look at our online identities and what happens when they become more interesting than our real lives. Here he tells us about his online search for more Nikesh Shuklas.
01/07/2014 by M.P. Wright
My top five classic crime heroes have with the exception of one British writer seen me hark back to my passion for American noir. My extensive crime fiction library of books, collected over some 25 years is testament to my love of crime writing from all over the world, so why did the guys across the pond take up the largest portion of my five choices? As a teenager I immersed myself in the writing of such wonderful English scribes such as Ian Fleming, Len Deighton, Frederick Forsyth, Daniel Carney and the wonderful Callan writer, James Mitchell. I was 19 when I first read Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep, entering Philip Marlowe’s dark and mysterious LA landscape of the 1950’s. As I dipped into the first chapter it was if Marlowe was speaking directly to me straight off the page. The writers below have all offered up the same kind of magic to me over the years. I’m drawn back to their lyrical but gritty prose like a moth to a flame... over and over again.
30/06/2014 by Helen Giltrow
Author Helen Giltrow delves deeper into what makes a satisyfing ending.
25/06/2014 by Stephen Bates
Stephen Bates is the author of The Poisoner: The Life and Crimes of Victorian England's Most Notorious Doctor, the story of one of the last people to be executed in England - Dr William Palmer who was convicted in 1855 of murdering his best friend and suspecting of poisoning more than a dozen others. He tells us about his favourite true crime books. I’ve always been drawn to true crime stories. Fiction thrillers generally leave me cold, but it is the tension of a real-life crime – what happened to the victim and how the murderer was caught and tried, especially if there was an execution at the end, which always has me gripped. I trace it back to those historic crime feature spreads in the old Sunday Express which I read surreptitiously as a child. As a historian, I also like what the cases say about the societies in which they took place. The old George Orwell dictum works for me: “The murderer should be a little man of the professional class (going) astray through cherishing a guilty passion…he should plan it all with the utmost cunning and only slip up over some tiny, unforeseeable detail…”
25/06/2014 by Toni Marques
Toni Marques was born in Rio in 1964 and is the co-editor of The Book of Rio, a book of short stories about Rio from Comma Press. He is also the curator of FLUPP, the first and only international literary festival hosted by shantytown communities in Brazil. Here he gives his recommendations of where to start with books from Brazil.
24/06/2014 by Lizzie Enfield
The Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius wrote: “The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.” In that sense my new novel was written - or rewritten – to get even with the thieves who broke into our home last year, stealing my laptop, computer and the memory sticks, which contained the completed first draft. I had no other back up, so you can imagine how I felt, initially. But I decided to rise above it; rewrite the book, make it better and turn the break-in to my advantage. I’ve thanked the thieves in my acknowledgments. That said, revenge in fiction serves the plot best when it’s a little less forgiving. The following are my favorite examples of revenge served in print and at temperatures ranging from cold to room temperature.
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