Toggle My BrainyQuote
Quote of the Day
Kate Atkinson Quotes
- Page 2
But I, you know, if I could choose a period to go back to, I think I would like to live through the Blitz. 'Cause you do read so many accounts of people saying they're living their lives at such an intense pitch that it was a completely different way of living.
Everyone said, 'Well, you're very old for a first novel,' and I said, 'How do you write when you haven't lived? How do you write when you have no experience? How do you write straight out of university?'
A novel and its writer are inseparable: you are your books. A play's not like that at all. 'Abandonment's not mine - it's everyone's. I wanted it to be a co-operative thing because I was tired of that anal control that I have over novels.
Fairy tales opened up a door into my imagination - they don't conform to the reality that's around you as a child. I started reading when I was three and read everything, but I wanted to be an actress.
I can't imagine what it would be like to write in a relaxed state. I'm going to be writing some stories for my own interest. I want to experiment with different things and see if I can approach writing with much less control and in a better psychological state. It will be like breaking out of a straitjacket.
My highest point was the first thing I won, a short story competition in a women's magazine in the Eighties. It was the first time I'd had my writing validated, and the first thing I'd ever shown anyone else.
When I started 'Case Histories,' the characters were all going to Antarctica on a cruise. The first part was called 'Embarkation.' It was supposed to be about everyone preparing to embark on the cruise, but it mushroomed into an entire book.
I had a novel in the back of my mind when I won an Ian St James story competition in 1993. At the award ceremony an agent asked me if I was writing a novel. I showed her four or five chapters of what would become 'Behind the Scenes at the Museum' and to my surprise she auctioned them off.
I need to be very isolated to write, and unfortunately isolation is often quite difficult to find. My ideal writing environment would be a country house hotel in the middle of nowhere, with full room service.
Life is a very orderly thing, but in fiction there is a huge liberation and freedom. I can do what I like. There's nothing that says I can't write a page of full stops. There is no 'should' involved, although you wouldn't know that from literary reviews and critics.
Like many writers, I started by writing short stories. I needed to learn how to write and stories are the most practical way to do this, and less soul-destroying than working your way through a lengthy novel and then discovering it's rubbish.
Writing for me is quite a plastic form, a kind of mental sculpture, although that sounds weird. It acquires its character and its depth as it goes along.
I was an only child and grew up in York where my parents ran a surgical supplies shop. When I say I wish I had brothers and sisters, friends say it's not what it's cracked up to be, but I think it must be good to have someone who knew you from the beginning.
My father was an autodidact. It wasn't a middle-class house. Shopkeepers are aspirant. He paid for me to go to private school. He was denied an education - he had a horrible childhood. He got a place at a grammar school and wasn't allowed to go.
My work is not my life. I started writing quite late, I didn't have that 'writing is everything, my art is all.' You have to be able to recognise the difference between the two.
The cult of the individual is killing us. I think Twitter signals the death of western civilisation, but people have been saying that since Demosthenes.
Find on Amazon:
Cite this Page:
Image of the Moment
A. A. Milne
H. G. Wells
J. K. Rowling
Get Social with BrainyQuote
Follow BrainyQuote on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ to share inspiring quotes with friends.
Join us on
Follow us on
Follow us on
Start your quote collection
Save your favorite quotes and create amazing collections.
Sign up, it's free!
Quote of the Day
BQ on Facebook
BQ on Twitter
BQ on Pinterest
BQ on Google+
BQ on Instagram
Quote Of The Day Feeds
Quote of the Day Email
© 2001 - 2015 BrainyQuote