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Must ... stop ... writing ... Sometimes I really wish I could. It gets in the way of real life. At the weekend I prefer sitting in front of the computer with my pretend friends instead of going out with my real ones. It destroys my sleep. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night knowing I need to change one word in the paragraph I wrote the evening before - and I have to get up and do it. And it makes me a dangerous driver. Get me on the road and my characters start having conversations in my head. And why are they so much more lucid and logical then than when I attempt to scribble them down at the next red light?
I write because I love language. I love English with its collection of mongrel words. It's like an enormous button box where you can pick between half a dozen languages each one of which holds the history of Britain at its heart. I love the shape of words and the sound of them. I love what you can make them do on the page. And what you can make them do to your readers. Laugh, cry, stay up at night.
What I like best is having a conversation with a reader about one of my characters. The reader talks about my character as if s/he is a real person. Discusses the character's motivation. Speculates about what the character did after the end of the novel. And I think, but it's all made up. Every bit of it. Out of my head.
Then I know it is all worthwhile. Bringing characters alive to walk on the page. Creating a world for them to live in. Immersing myself in the shape and rhythm of a novel in the making. It's exciting stuff. And it's even more exciting when the book is finished and I hand it over to you, the reader. Enjoy!
on Oct. 06, 2013 :
This is two different types of stories bound by one coin. No happy endings but very interesting.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on April 10, 2013 :
I so much enjoyed reading this book - the first part because of its setting (Brisbane and Ipswich, two cities I know well), and the fun of recognition when reading about places I'm so familiar with. The second I enjoyed because of the history it engages with, the Roman forays into Britain, and depiction of life in Britain in the pre-Roman era. The two tales mirror one another not only by the conceit of the Republican coin, but by the love stories that accompany it. A terrific read.
(reviewed long after purchase)
on April 01, 2013 :
Narratives bound by common humanity, details of a bigger picture where the intimate draws you into the smaller image and holds you there. The coin is a physical link between the past and the resent and potently symbolic in both tales, reflecting the choices made and how we deal with the consequences, and how they can return to haunt us. Stories of winning and losing deftly crafted and with a delicate touch for nuance. The Republican Coin is a book to read and go back to, to renew the acquaintance of the characters and catch the subtlety of the landscape. It is not a book of two halves, it is complete obverse and reverse, as the coin itself.
(reviewed within a month of purchase)