Sunday, 18 November 2012

How to write a novel despite everything

Jenny writes: Just how did my neighbour score a five figure advance on her first novel, and find herself at the forefront of the digital publishing revolution? Those were the questions on my mind as I walked down the road to interview Elaine Powell – pen name EM Powell – at her home in Prestwich, north Manchester this week. Setting aside all questions of personal envy (jealous, moi?) I had to find out how a regular mum and local government worker had got herself a literary agent in New York. And when was her medieval murder mystery – The Fifth Knight - coming out, anyway?

Sunday, 11 November 2012

The guy in the opposite seat

Bella writes: On the 20.40 train out of Leeds, I am faced with one of those dilemmas that polite commuters prefer to avoid. A teenager stretches over the only available table in the carriage, hood up, oversize black and red headphones hung round his neck. Do I risk abuse by claiming a share of the table?
“Anyone sitting here?” I ask, indicating the three other clearly empty seats.