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Monday 2nd December 2002


I’m working on the novel all the time now. Attachments has finished its run at Live Theatre. It was a very happy production, and I’m sorry it’s finished. When writing a novel there is very little you can say about it. Each day you have to step into a made-up world full of pretend people that you feel you know better than many of your friends. Tomorrow I’m visiting a prison so I can get some detail; it might only be a small paragraph, but I think it’s worth the trip.

I must say, I do sometimes feel as if writing novels is rather like archeology in that you unearth the novel from some part of yourself. This novel is not at all autobiographical, but it feels very close to me, and I am very fond of the people in it. I wouldn’t be surprised if I met them one day on the bus!

I went to a book launch last Thursday for the poets Peter Mortimer and Michael Standen. There was a good crowd there. The singer Katherine Zeserson ‘sang’ one of Peter’s poems beautifully. Peter’s book ‘I Married the Angel of The North’ was published by Five Leaves Press, and Michael’s ‘Gifts of Egypt’ was produced by Shoestring Press. Both books look fantastic. Hoorah for the Small Press, and for Cannongate and Flambard whose publications have both been on major shortlists. The more that Waterstones seems to only stock about twenty best sellers the more important these eclectic, passion run presses are. My own press, Diamond Twig, is tiny but our writers are really like diamonds and our books are very beautiful and collectable. I hope everyone who reads this diary buys books from small presses. Everyone should have at least one they support.