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Audience of One By Jo_Riccioni “Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.” – Kurt Vonnegut Recently I’ve read several interviews with novelists who say that they write with a single reader in mind, silencing the demands of […]
On Wearing Two Hats By Jo_Riccioni Being both a writer and a bookseller often sits weirdly with me. Not quite as weirdly as the personal trainer who told me he was moonlighting as a pastry chef, but there’s definitely some conflict there. “I’ve met lots of authors who are also booksellers,” another writer friend tells […]
Polish Cooking for Beginners Magdalena_McGuire My grandmother’s hands are bloody. Red stains soak her fingers and splatter her arms, reaching their peak in a dab of crimson on her neck. She catches me looking and grins, waving her fingers like a ghoul from one of the bedtime stories she used to tell, the kind where […]
Image by Lara Wilson The first story that I had published in a real, actual book, was in an anthology by Margaret River Press. Though I’d published before – in a magazine, in journals and online – these publications didn’t inspire quite the same heady experience as did seeing my work in a book. When […]
Reading short stories give us the chance to dip in and out of different worlds in what can be a very intense fashion. Here are three women short story writers whose work I’ve come across recently and enjoyed for the unique worlds they present and the vivid characters who inhabit them. Rebecca Lee  I once […]
Recently I read an interview with the English writer, Hilary Mantel, which got me thinking about the role of the author in writing historical fiction. Mantel is a rigorous researcher (which, being a researcher myself, I admire) and insists on the novelist’s duty to stick to the facts, as they’re set out in the history […]
 Let us take it that the bridge is built and crossed, that we can put it out of our mind. We have left behind the territory in which we were. We are in the far territory; where we want to be. – J.M. Coetzee Every time we read, we cross a bridge to another territory. […]
Water always runs to the deepest point, to where the land is lowest. For me, the same is true of writing. The words fall into the places that lie deep beneath. I think of them as the 2am places. The ones you usually hide with conversation and movement. The voice in your head that you […]
At the Citadel in deep ponds the koi, like shards of afternoon light, swam at the surface waiting for crumbs. I stood with my eldest son in the rain. Tiny frogs hid in cracks between the pavers while we traced a spray of bullet holes on a wall, the mortar crumbling damply beneath our fingers. […]
My children joke that I interrogate people when I travel. And they’re probably right. I want to know the stories, because one of the things I’ve learned since I started writing is that everybody’s got one. It’s these stories that I travel to find. After all, you don’t travel to another country to learn about […]
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