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Writing a book

5 February 2007

'The first challenge, of course, is finding something that interests you and that you feel passionate about - and you'd better be sure, because you are going to be living with this idea, like a combination of wife, lover, concubine, schoolteacher and prison warder, for months to come...

The actual writing is no big deal - you simply start with a blank screen, fill it with writing, and then repeat the process two or three hundred times.

Then you look for an agent and a publisher - again, simple enough in theory. You just write a hundred letters, look at the two or three you get back, and then start walking round from office to office, trying to look cheerful each time they tell you to go away. It is incredible how many ways there are to say "no thanks"'.

Andrew Taylor, author of Aftershock in the Sunday Times