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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Politics, Real Life & the Crime Novel

Ambrose Musiyiwa has published an interview with me on his site, Conversations with Writers. This is an interesting and informative site and it’s well worth spending some of your time there. You’ll find interviews and conversations with playwrights, genre novelists, short-story writers, children’s and young-adult authors, poets, political writers and meditation teachers. Some of the interviewees are self-published and others published traditionally. But Ambrose Musiyiwa treats them all to penetrating questions about their work and their approach to the writing process.

2 Responses to “Politics, Real Life & the Crime Novel”

  1. Great interview. I liked this in particular, “When one is dealing with a novel, or, I suppose, any work of art, one is dealing not with the real world, but with an event in consciousness. This is what I mean by language.”

    I think the struggle of every writer is to find the language that will translate an event in consciousness into language that is not only enjoyable for the writer, but also accessible his/her readers. This, perhaps, was Joyce’s greatest failure in _Finnegan’s Wake_. But how does one translate the history of mankind into death of an old codger?


    jb says: Hi Geoffrey, you ask challenging questions.

  2. Hello John,
    I came over to wish you a happy new year and was suitably rewarded with your interview read. I left a comment on Ambrose’s weblog that summarised how I felt on reading it.
    Honestly, John it was humbling from the fact that there is so much to learn from you. It makes someone like me feel very small.
    Perhaps it is the passion with which you convey your own lessons, thoughts, feelings & ideas of writing that makes a reader feel you are while answering questions, teaching & imparting your knowledge to the world.
    The interview also delved into rivulets that brought memories home like a shot. And for once I was relieved that I went to a Convent managed by Irish nuns. I had read all of Richmal Crompton’s Just William series and that made me instantly remember Watson the trickster schoolboy from the delightful comics; not sure if it was The Beano or Dandy.
    Yes, I had read all the boys”s stuff together with Blyton that led me on to other book adventures.
    My first storybook corpse happened with a character in a Biggles plane.
    Today, indeed my favourite poets stay Plath first of all followed by Ted Hughes and Kingsley Amis not minding the time or era though I discovered them late.
    Like you too, I wouldn’t go back to the old reads. It served its time & place.
    But I musn’t ramble. I’m so sorry John. Just delighted with all you’ve taught us and of course, a Happy New Year.

    jb says: Hi Susan, Now it’s me who’s humbled.