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The Way We Write Interviews with Award-winning Writers by Barbara Baker

The Way We Write Interviews with Award-winning Writers


The Way We Write Interviews with Award-winning Writers by Barbara Baker

This book is a unique collection of new interviews with award-winning writers - novelists, poets, playwrights, screenplay writers and children's writers. Each writer discusses their process, both mental and physical: why they write, whom they write for, where and how often they write, recurring themes, their problems and their achievements. The interviews are intimate, personal, honest, informative, intriguing and often humorous. Together, they offer a fascinating insight into the inspiration, experience and hard work behind successful writers. This engaging collection is sure to appeal to anyone who loves reading or has ever wanted to be a writer.


'There are of course wonderful insights into particular novels, poems and plays, but what is most important about these interviews is the proximity they give us to the writing process . There really is no better way to understand the author's art and craft than by listening to him or her reflect on the imagination's journey to the page: the starting points, the struggles, decisions and revisions. And the tremendous variety of accounts within this particular book is important in itself, making clear that there are many paths to success. Barbara Baker is to be congratulated on eliciting these telling contributions from so many of our best-known authors.' - Paul Munden, Director of the National Association of Writers in Education 'This book will serve as an inspiration to anyone interested in writing.' - The Good Book Guide 'In The Way We Write, not only do the 18 novelists, dramatists and poets Barbara Baker interviews on how and why they write come across as fully functioning people - the type who could do another job perfectly well if they chose - but you find yourself wondering which of the authors, and not which of their books, you would most like to take on holiday with you...What comes across from The Way We Write is not the sense each writer has of being a winner, but his or her awareness of the meaninglessness of that title and the fragility of their reputations.' - Frances Wilson, The Daily Telegraph 'Ask eighteen authors about the secrets of the craft of writing, and you will get eighteen different answers. And that is exactly what Barbara Baker has done...She has selected award-winning authors and has included writers across the range: children's writers, playwrights, novelists, short story writers, even poets......the whole book has something to say about every aspect of writing.' - Writing Magazine 'Anyone who aspires to producing some published story, poem, novel, or screenplay will find interest and encouragement here.' - Roy Johnson, 'I really enjoyed this collection of interviews and know that I will return to it again and again...There is plenty of meat in this collection as well as humour, and those writers who are looking for that elusive elixir to transform their own writing would do well to have a read.' - Annette Ecuyere Lee, Writing in Education Magazine (NAWE) Barbara Baker has taken care to assemble a mix of practitioners who will offer something for almost every variety of novice writer, and it has to be said that even established writers would learn something from her book ... The Way We Write is arguably one of the most successful and accessible volumes of writer interviews we have seen, with just the right balance of analysis and sheer individual and absorbing explanations of the craft of writing. It should be read and used in creative writing courses across the country and beyond. - Stephen Wade, Contemporary Review '
Writing says the American novelist Joyce Carol Oates in her contribution to this collection is a kind of dreaming. By which she means that for her writing is, like dreaming, a real necessity. We need to dream to sort out our thoughts

; we can't choose not to dream, just as good writers can't choose not to write. In this fascinating collection eighteen good writers - they have all won awards - share with us, some with astonishing frankness, not just their working methods and how and when they find they write best, but what they see as their own strengths and weaknesses. They tell us about the hard graft of correction and re-writing and whose opinions they value, and they share with us the pleasure of knowing finally that they've got it right. It is as Al Alvarez and children's writer Eleanor Updale admit, often a desperately solitary occupation. In the end it is all about something disarmingly simple, as the poet U.A. Fanthorpe points out - trying to get the words right. From each of these writers we learn a great deal, and in eighteen different ways we are, in their company, thoroughly entertained.' - Sue MacGregor, A Good Read, BBC Radio 4

About the Author

Barbara Baker's previous books include Let the Credits Roll: Interviews with Film Crew (McFarland & Company, 2003) and Why We Garden: Stories of a British Obsession (Aston House Press, 2004).

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Book Info

Publication date

1st May 2007


Barbara Baker

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Continuum International Publishing Group Ltd. an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing PLC


256 pages


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