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'Not all writing careers end in disappointment'

19 January 2021

‘My father was a playwright so I grew up with reverence for writing. The sound of his typewriter clacking was one I grew to love. What I didn't know was how disappointed he was by the failure of his work to reach the West End. Later, I realised not all writing careers end in disappointment, and it was worth trying to make mine a success...

I started my first novel, Sadler's Birthday (about an elderly butler, published in 1976), when my daughter, Eleanor, was two. Combining this with being a mum made me use the hours of the day efficiently, a habit I've kept...

When I was teaching creative writing at the University of East Anglia, I'd tell my students that short stories never become successful novels - the forms are far too different. But my latest novel, The Gustav Sonata, began as a short story, published in 2007.'

Rose Tremain, author of The Colour, Restoration, The Road Home, Music and Silence, Merivel and 14 other novels, in the Telegraph's Stella.