It’s not often a film adaption of a book is as good as the book that inspired it, but The Virgin Suicides is. The movie captures the mood of the book perfectly. Both get 5 stars from me. I’d recommend them both, very highly indeed.
First of all – a big thank you to all who sent me birthday wishes. Between here and Twitter and Facebook and email and the telephone, I received a lot – far more than I could have expected. So, yeah – thank you all, very, very much.
And back to writing things. I meant to mention this earlier but never seemed to have the time. Long time friend of the blog, Teresa Stenson is in The Guardian Summer Short Story Special, with her story, ‘Things Which Are Not True’. It’s a top story and Teresa’s a top writer and very nice lady, so I’m thrilled for her. Go read.
I am now thirty.
And I have been listening to this a lot.
That is all.
Tomorrow, I turn thirty. And, yes – haven’t I done well in not moaning about it? I’ve surprised even myself.
And I’m at a bit of a loss as to what I should say here to mark the event which, to me, is quite a big one.
I could talk about my highs and lows so far. I could talk about successes and failures. I could talk about great people I’ve known and those who’ve treated me badly. I could talk about lost loves, missed opportunities, or those wonderful memories I’ll keep with me forever. Or perhaps the wonderful books I’ve read, the things that have happened that have shaped me, that have made me, me.
But really, none of those things matter too much at the moment (though I am grateful for them and I’m proud to carry them forward with me). There are times for reflection and I’m sure they’ll come.
What matters is I’m still here.What matters is what’s ahead. What’s behind me has helped me get to this stage, the important bits are yet to come. And I’m looking forward to them.
And despite not being a man of the world myself, I still think this is very, very beautiful…
I’ve been thinking a lot over these past few days about the decision to cut the number of short stories broadcast on Radio 4 from three a week to one. Obviously, it’s not a great thing. But there must be some sort of reasoning behind the decision.
Another day, another interview.
I’ve known (virtually) Essie Fox for a good old while now, and I can tell you she’s very lovely indeed (her blog’s cool too). What’s more, her debut novel, The Somnambulist (Orion) is out now and it sounds brilliant. So it’s a real pleasure to have her here today, to talk about it, and writing. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, I give you Essie Fox…
Welcome to the blog, Essie. Thrilled to have you here. Now, I’ve yet to read ‘The Somnambulist’ (it’s only a matter of time!) – could you tell us a little about it please? Who’s it for and what’s it about?
The title is wonderful. I think ‘somnambulist’ may be my new favourite word. For those who might not have come across it before, could you tell us what it means, and also, what it means in relation to the novel?
The novel is set in Victorian England and I’m well aware that that’s a period that interests you – could you tell us why?
Now it’s done and written and published and being read and enjoyed, do you find yourself missing any of the characters, or that process of creating the story?
How did you write it? What was your routine? (And any tips you might like to give to others who hope to be published?)
What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve been given?
Don’t be too impatient. It takes as long as it takes…marry in haste, repent at leisure applies just as much to writing as it does to real life.
What’s next for you?
Before taking up writing, Essie worked as an illustrator – designing greetings cards, gift wrap, and decorative ceramics. Before that she worked in a Dickensian office in Bloomsbury’s Museum Street, employed as an editorial assistant by the publishers, George Allen & Unwin. So, in a way, it almost feels as if she has come full circle, returning to her very first love which is the world of books.
Essie is currently researching her second Victorian novel. She also writes the popular blog, The Virtual Victorian.
Born and raised in Herefordshire, Essie now divides her time between Bow in east London and Windsor. She is married with one daughter.
It’s been AGES since I’ve interviewed anyone on here, mostly down to being too busy doing other things (like being interviewed myself, or writing, or editing. The list goes on…) but that changes today.
So, it’s a little before half past eleven on an evening which has followed a decidedly grey and rainy day. In a moment or two I’ll turn off my computer. And the reason for this? I have been catching up with everything I didn’t get to do over the past fortnight, when I was ill and working at half-speed (if I was lucky).
I am better now. I am mended and fixed and bloody glad about it, mostly as it lasted far longer than I’d thought it would.
If anyone’s still waiting for things from me (and, yes, I know you are) then bear (bare?) with me. You will all have your things very soon. I promise.
I’ve just been tinkering with my website (only minor tweaks, here is still the best place to come to for news) and thought, while I was thinking of it, that now would be a reasonably good time to mention on here my other online hang outs. If you’re interested in joining me at any of them, pop across. Don’t be shy!
I’m on Facebook here.
I’m on Twitter here.
Here is where I offer short story and editing help.
This is my Goodreads page.
And here is my website.
Hopefully see some of you over there. And there. And there…