My old pal - though she doesn't know it - Maggie O'Farrell is interviewed in the Irish Times today. Touching on themes I brought up when I blogged about her here. Including the un-named interviewer trying to claim her as Irish.
A couple of quotes:
'O’Farrell says that having children has had a beneficial effect on her work. “With young children, you write when you have half an hour. Time at my desk feels like an indulgence, a treat. I find the whole process of writing hugely enjoyable. It’s satisfying, like a puzzle that needs to be solved.'
'“Children are good editors. I don’t mean they get out the red pen, just that I have less time to follow up every whim, and I cut less from my books than I used to.”'
Maggie's three tips for aspiring novelists are included at the end of the interview. They are:
Read. Keep reading. Don’t stop. And don’t worry too much about starting your novel at the beginning. A blank page can be terrifying, and nothing will give you writer’s block faster.
Start in the middle, or wherever you want. Build up a solid word count – keep going, and don’t look back. It gives you something to work with.
Take advice. Give the manuscript to as many people as you can. You might not always like what you hear, but you need someone to be honest.
I love the first two tips. Not sure about that last one - unless the people you give it to are writers, professionals in the book world or very good, critical readers, you might end up with some pretty useless advice...just saying...