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THOUGHTS, DREAMS & ACTION

If we’re going to get through the next few years, we need a change of narrative so profound that our entire culture changes direction.  We need not just new stories, but a whole new shape to what a story is. And it will start with our writing.

THOUGHTS   |   DREAMS   |   ACTION

If we’re going to get through the next few years, we need a change of narrative so profound that our entire culture changes direction.  We need not just new stories, but a whole new shape to what a story is. And it will start with our writing.

On Radio and Prizes

So – the brief ten minutes of fame on Radio 4’s Open Book has been and gone. It’s here, briefly on listen again – tho’ I’m not sure for how much longer.  Mariella Frostrup is as engaging and insightful as she sounds on the radio – and what I didn’t realise is that a ten minute slot is actually recorded over about 30 – 40 minutes and then edited down.  I am in awe of her producers.   The entire process is painless and a lot of fun and if I can find a way to spend a lot more time on the radio (Specifically Radio Four), I’ll do it.

That apart, this week’s news is that the former HWA/Goldsboro Debut Crown for best debut historical fiction, is now the HWA Debut Crown – Goldsboro have been wonderful, but it’s time to go it alone.  The previous winners have been the ever-outstanding Robert Wilton with Treason’s Tide (formerly The Emperor’s Gold) and ML Stedman with The Light Between Oceans.  This year’s crop includes Beatrice Hitchman’s excellent Petite Mort – which was serialised rather well on Women’s Hour – and She Rises by Kate Worsley.  There will be others, and I’m sure some will be outstanding – the scope and depth of historical fiction grows year on year: it’s not just Hilary Mantel at one end and James Patterson at the other: there’s a massive swathe of work of all standards and all styles, all of it exploring who we have been in an effort to find out who we can become.

The number of festivals is rising too – this year saw the first Harrogate History Festival – if you don’t know all about it, you really, really haven’t been following my Facebook and Twitter threads, Cambridge Classics Day (ditto) and the Thames Valley History Festival which stretched over 2 weeks and had 10 sell-out events.  We are all happy bunnies… so as Christmas approaches, remember that your loved ones will love reading.  I’m going to re-review my highlights of this year in the coming weeks to offer suggestions of what you might get for any and all members of the family…

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