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Comment from the book world in May 2021

May 2021

'Editors can be stupid at times'

31 May 2021

'Editors can be stupid at times. They just ignore that author's intention. I always try to read unabridged editions, so much is lost with cut versions of classic literature, even movies don't make sense when they are edited too much. I love the longueurs of a book even if they seem pointless because you can get a peek into the author's mind, a glimpse of their creative soul. I mean, how would people like it if editors came along and said to an artist, "Whoops, you left just a tad too much space around that lily pad there, lets crop that a bit, shall we?" Monet would be ripping his hair out.'

E A Bucchianeri, author of Little Month of Saint Joseph, Brushstrokes of a Gadfly, Faust and 5 other books.

'Character is crucial.'

17 May 2021

‘Everything hinges on character. Plot is important, but character is crucial. Character is best revealed through action. Someone pulls a gun on your hero. How do they react? Fight or flight? Their character will determine. Complex characters are gold. A hero whose first reaction is flight but who plausibly stands and fights is way more interesting. People your world with characters who will feed off each other, the dynamics between them generating story. "Interesting" trumps "likeable" every time.

Mike Bullen, British scriptwriter, who has written the successful series Life Begins, Cold Feet and All about George, as well as a novel, Trust.


'The Lost Generation'

3 May 2021

‘When I was a child I was given a special book just to write stories because my handwriting and spelling were so bad. Suddenly I realised I wasn't hopeless at English. You forget children are always comparing each other, and if it's always about grammar and spelling , and if they don't get it, their self-esteem plummets. My terrible handwriting and sketches have turned into a billion-and-a-half dollar industry with my books and films. Never underestimate the value of allowing children to mess around.

I refuse to call them the Lost Generation (children who have been affected by the Pandemic). You can't just give up on millions of children. I'm intrinsically extremely hopeful. It's not dumbing down - books about dragons and fairies can teach you about what kind of leaders we deserve, love friendship, death and responsibility to your tribe.'

Cressida Cowell, UK Children's Laureate and author of the How to Train Your Dragon series, whose 23 books have sold 11 million copies, in The Times.