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Listening to #Patrick Gale at #Waterstones

I don\’t often go to author evenings – I know, I know. It\’s a mixture of envy and embarassment because I often haven\’t read any of their books. This is because, when I\’m writing a book which I usually am, I don\’t want anyone else\’s words in my head, particularly not if they\’re really well-written.

So I hadn\’t read anything by Patrick Gale before seeing him this evening at Waterstones in Truro – but I will once I\’ve finished the next Carey Elizabethan crime novel. He read aloud from his latest book A Perfectly Good Man – very well indeed, which is something not all authors are good at. As #2 son said on the way home – it\’s not the sort of book he\’s normally interested, but now he wants to read it. Patrick Gale also answered fan questions with wry self-deprecating humour which is mandatory for authors, but his felt genuine.

One thing he said which I found fascinating: he writes each of his characters\’ story seperately and then weaves them together in the second draft, which is when he finds out what the book is about. I tend to plod along chronologically but I think I\’ll be trying this method out with the one I\’m writing.

The envy came, of course. I envy his self-discipline to start writing at 9.00 and finish at 2.00 and then do some more in the evening. I feel proud of myself if I get in two hours a day. Hey ho.

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