Archives for NUJ

I agree with… Tom Penn

Tom Penn “When someone picks up a book, they ask first, “why should I care? Why should I read it? Why should I stick with it, when there are so many other things to do and so many other things to read?” A biographer has to get into the mind of the subject, “has to find the subject so compelling you can’t push the subject away… you’re the person who has to bring this person, this subject to the reader – you’re the person who has to live with this subject for years, decades, as long as it takes to write.” [Tom Penn, editorial director, Penguin Books, speaking to a meeting of the NUJ’s London Freelance Branch in February 2013] Tom Penn commissions biographies, but his words apply just as well to fiction. It reminds me of the airport test, which someone told me about years ago. Imagine you are at the airport, looking for a book to read on the plane, and you are faced with a selection of books by unfamiliar authors. Unable to choose a familiar name, you turn to page one and start reading. It’s my job as author to bring the story to life, to draw the
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Categories: Book Love and On Writing.