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.
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.
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.
History is full of blank spaces, but good stories, invariably, are not.
For a novelist, the gaps in a story are as intriguing as material that still exists.
I'm a library user and I just don't hoard books. To me, they're for sharing.
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.
There is something particularly fascinating about seeing places you know in a piece of art - be that in a film, or a photograph, or a painting.
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.
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.
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.
The sky was a sparkling succession of black diamonds on black velvet made crystal clear by the blackout.
Change occurs slowly. Very often a legal change might take place but the cultural shift required to really accept its spirit lingers in the wings for decades.
We can learn so much looking outside our core field of expertise.
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?
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.
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 always thought that bagels and lox was my soul food, but it turns out it's sushi.
The new contract between writers and readers is one I'm prepared to sign up to. I've met some fascinating people at events and online. Down with the isolation of writers I say! And long live Twitter.
Writers need each other.
Everyone assumes writers spend their time lounging around, writing and occasionally striking a pose whilst having a think.
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