Category Archives: Essay

Which Window? – Point of View in The Valley Walker

Written by West Camel For those of you keen to have your ebook given an editor’s review please leave a comment or pingback below and West will hunt you out! In his preface to the New York Edition of The … Continue reading

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What’s the problem with being up a mountain with no phone signal or orienteering skills?

It has begun to rain. The wind comes in cycles – building, building – so that at its peak my body wobbles and I contemplate the steepness below me: images of tumbling headfirst down lumps and bumps, through sharp grass. … Continue reading

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Worry – what’s the worst thing you can imagine?

The year I turned eleven, I joined all-girl choir that my music teacher ran. It was called The Julia Singers. We met once a week for rehearsals and, each term, put on a show. There’d be a tea party beforehand … Continue reading

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Shouldn’t I be able to use all my published books as furniture by now?

  I have recently been on a hunt for Alice Munro. When I reached the Canadian border the other week, a lady in the passport control booth asked me where I was heading. Goderich, I told her, grinning ludicrously about … Continue reading

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Playful child and iron teacher: the two halves of the writer

I was nine when a new games mistress arrived at my school. She was a grey-haired woman, although she wasn’t old; I could tell because her eyebrows were black. Her bum was boxlike, giving an impression of very little waist. … Continue reading

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What happens when a character’s skirt gets hitched in her knickers?

Character is arguably the single most important component of the novel…nothing can equal the great tradition of the European novel in the richness, variety and psychological depth of its portrayal of human nature. David Lodge    When I was ten, … Continue reading

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First drafts: allowing the worm to navigate the soils of your mind

I decided to go on a retreat a few years ago. When people asked me why, I tried to explain, but always got a sense I’d left something out; I circled back to the beginning, tried again. Words followed words, … Continue reading

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