Without archives many stories of real people would be lost, and along with those stories, vital clues that allow us to reflect and interpret our lives today.
It is through our extended family that we first learn to compromise and come to an understanding that even if we don't always agree about things we can still love and look out for each other.
Research material can turn up anywhere - in a dusty old letter in an archive, a journal or some old photographs you find in a charity shop.
I've found myself moved by letters and diaries in archives as well as trashy, summer blockbusters. It's possible to make a connection with any kind of writing - as long as the writing is good.
I'm a library user and I just don't hoard books. To me, they're for sharing.
For a novelist, the gaps in a story are as intriguing as material that still exists.
History is full of blank spaces, but good stories, invariably, are not.
I didn't expect to love being online as much as I do. I've met some wonderful people and discovered that however arcane some of my interests that there are people out there who are interested too.
Today women have the rights and equality our Victorian sisters could only dream of, and with those privileges comes the responsibility of standing up and being counted.
People make interesting assumptions about the profession. The writer is a mysterious figure, wandering lonely as a cloud, fired by inspiration, or perhaps a cocktail or two.
Like most little girls, I found the lure of grown-up accessories astonishing - lipstick, perfume, hats and gloves. When I write female characters in my historical novels, getting these details right is vital.
I don't choose between my house phone and my mobile. I don't choose between my laptop and my notebook. And I don't intend to choose between my e-reader and my bookshelf.
I believe the era of the militant lady is back.
Everyone assumes writers spend their time lounging around, writing and occasionally striking a pose whilst having a think.
It is one of the benchmarks of a culture I always think – the page at which it operates. A good way to measure it is to order a taxi and see how irate local people get if it is late.
A book is a story, even if it's non-fiction, and once I've read it, I have the story with me inside my head always.
Sometimes I create a character from a scrap - a mere mention that has been left behind.
As an historical novelist – there are few jobs more retrospective.
The sky was a sparkling succession of black diamonds on black velvet made crystal clear by the blackout.
At the end of the day, that's what a family is - a group of different people who accept each other.
I jealously guard my research time and I love fully immersing myself in those dusty old books and papers. It's one of the most enjoyable parts of my job.
The net has provided a level playing field for criticism and comment - anyone and everyone is entitled to their opinion - and that is one of its greatest strengths.
Writers need each other.
Copywriters, journalists, mainstream authors, ghostwriters, bloggers and advertising creatives have as much right to think of themselves as good writers as academics, poets, or literary novelists.
I'm not sure how much easier it is for a mother to balance her life now - have we simply swapped one set of restrictions for another?
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