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Novel Writing: Self-Belief and Staying Power (Part 2)

This week, I thought I’d take a break from the usual Virtual Book Club format. Instead, I put the same question to a number of authors.  “A novel requires stamina and grit,” says author Oyinkan Braithwaite. “You need a certain kind of faith in yourself and in what you are doing to bang out 40,000-plus…
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Novel writing: Self-belief and Staying power (Part 1)

This week, I thought I’d take a break from the usual Virtual Book Club format. Instead, I put the same question to a number of authors.  “A novel requires stamina and grit,” says author Oyinkan Braithwaite. “You need a certain kind of faith in yourself and in what you are doing to bang out 40,000-plus…
» Continue Reading

Book Review: Leonard and Hungry Paul by Rónán Hession

Last October 1st, I was fortunate enough to be among the audience at Waterstones, Tottenham Court Road, for the Northern Fiction Alliance’s first London Roadshow. I say ‘fortunate’ because sometimes – whether by fluke, luck or some divine intervention – you find yourself witness to the beginning of something special. Something that has the power…
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An exploration of art in fiction: ‘high’ and ‘low’ art, art snobbery, and redemption

Few authors can be as steeped in art – literally since birth – as Valeria Vescina, my first of today’s guest contributors. “My mother is an art historian and my father directed a gallery of twentieth-century art. Some of my earliest memories are of sitting down with books of old-master paintings,” she says. Passionate about…
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Help: my eBook business model is broken

When the line between lending and piracy becomes blurred

A few weeks ago, I was watching a topical panel show. When the question of plastic pollution came up, one of the panelists replied, ‘No, you’re not laying the blame at my door. I bought plastic on the understanding that it would be recycled. It’s not my fault if someone went and dumped it in…
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An exploration of art in fiction: finding your inspiration

The focus of this week’s exploration of art in fiction is finding your inspiration. We kick off with a contribution from Michael Jarvie. Michael is a working-class writer from the North East of England. He is the author of the composite novel The Prison and the thriller Black Art. With a BA Honours degree in…
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An exploration of art in fiction, Part 4: when all roads lead to Tate Modern

This week’s Art in Fiction focuses on novels that are set in the mecca of modern art, Tate Modern.  One of my favourite reads in recent months was Harriet P Paige’s Man With A Seagull on his Head, which was nominated for Not The Booker 2017.  Paige perfectly pitches a portrait of outsider artist Ray…
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An exploration of art in fiction, Part 3: Grief Art Writing

A guest post by Vivienne Tuffnell

To give this week’s guest post a rambling introduction would be to do it a disservice. It is more than capable of standing on its own two feet. Suffice to say that, when I read it, I felt as if I’d been given a gift.  Vivienne Tuffnell is a writer, poet, explorer and mystic. She says…
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An exploration of art in fiction, Part 2: Fictionalised lives of real artists

The week’s exploration of the use of art in fiction (part 2) focuses on novels that tell fictionalised accounts of the lives of real artists.  One of my favourite examples is contained in How to be Both, by Ali Smith. Francesco del Cossa was a 15th Century painter. Although few known examples of his works…
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An exploration of art in fiction, Part 1: Smash all the Windows

For the next few weeks, Virtual Book Club will be taking a break. Instead, I’m going to bring you an exploration of the use of art in fiction. Fictionalised stories behind real painting; novels based on the lives of real artists; fictional artists, fictional works of art; fictional members of real art movements; fictional muses…
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