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24 Jul 2015 - 10:07
Submitted by: Emily Zinkin

Homer’s Odyssey was the first of a kind. From Xenophon’s Anabasis to Arrian’s account of the journey of Alexander the Great, great books about journeys have what the racing world would regard as form. Making a science of a Greek art, the methodical Romans produced many an itinerarium, a list of cities, villages and so on that one would pass through on a given journey. Julius Caesar and Mark Anthony, for example, commissioned, in 44bc, the first known itinerary of all the Roman roads then built. Twenty-five years later, they would still have been waiting had they not been dead. Twenty-six years later, the result was carved on stone and set up outside the Pantheon.

23 Jul 2015 - 05:07
Submitted by: Emily Zinkin

My first job after leaving university was as a cub reporter on The Western Morning News, the South West’s regional newspaper. I spent a lot of time haring round the Devon and Cornwall countryside in my battered red Mini, and fell in love with the little Cornish fishing villages across the water from Plymouth, where I was based.

16 Jul 2015 - 01:07
Submitted by: Kaz
Publishing businesses born this side of the digital revolution tend to do things differently. Quick to publish and even quicker to grow, they play by a new set of rules. Clerkenwell publisher Head of Zeus fits this mould.
 
13 Jul 2015 - 02:07
Submitted by: Kaz
The Runaway is an exclusive short story from Lesley Thomson, the bestselling author of The Detective's Daughter.  The short story itself details a formative event in the detective's daughter's life.  We're thrilled to share some extracts.
07 Jul 2015 - 06:07
Submitted by: Emily Zinkin

I initially learned of Ken Liu back in 2012 when he became the first fiction author to win the Nebula, Hugo, and the World Fantasy Award for his poignant short story The Paper Menagerie. It was an amazing achievement for an author who had once thought to give up writing altogether. Now, a prolific science fiction and fantasy writer, Liu has published more than a hundred short stories and novellas, and has translated numerous works by Chinese authors to critical acclaim. The Grace of Kings is his first full-length work of fiction and is the start of a trilogy that looks to be an addictive epic fantasy series.

07 Jul 2015 - 06:07
Submitted by: Emily Zinkin

For me, as both a reader and as a writer, where the novel is set can make or break it.  I like to read books written by authors who know their settings so intimately that by the time I put the book down -- hopefully when it’s finished – I feel like I’ve been on a very intimate tour of a place with an excellent and knowledgeable local tour guide. 

02 Jul 2015 - 10:07
Submitted by: Anonymous

The second novel in the gripping Twilight of Empire series, set at the end of the Roman Empire, sees a treasonous conspiracy threatening to bring down the Emperor Constantine.

01 Jul 2015 - 10:07
Submitted by: Kaz

Author Kate Kerrigan asks women to share the stories behind their favourite dresses, and talks about the inspiration for her new novel, The Dress.

30 Jun 2015 - 05:06
Submitted by: Emily Zinkin

I’ve long had an argument with Lee Child—a friendly argument, since he’s a friend of mine—about one of the oldest questions in the mystery/thriller genre: To outline, or not?

Like all novelists, Lee starts with a premise, a “What If?” question, and he answers it by the end of the novel. But he doesn’t know where he’s going until he sits down to write.  He leaves himself open to serendipity. My way is different: I don’t start writing a book until I know how it ends.  And I like to know the main plot points before I start. 

16 Jun 2015 - 11:06
Submitted by: Emily Zinkin

Miss Weaver knew she was courting danger by publishing James Joyce’s work. After all, the entire first printing of his debut book of fiction had been destroyed. In November 1905, when Joyce was twenty-three, he sent the manuscript of Dubliners to a London publisher named Grant Richards. Richards responded nearly three months later to say that Dubliners had many problems. It was about Ireland, and no one wanted to buy a book about Ireland. It was a collection of short stories, and no one wanted to buy a collection of short stories. But he admired it so much that he was willing to publish it under modest terms. Joyce would get no advance and no royalties from the first five hundred copies sold. He would receive 10 percent from the sales on the first one thousand copies after that, though he would omit every thirteenth copy from the total. Several weeks later, however, Richards returned his manuscript and demanded changes.

15 Jun 2015 - 03:06
Submitted by: Emily Zinkin

Ten years ago, one of cricket's all-time great matches played itself out in Birmingham

The biggest turning point of the greatest cricket series ever played came during a game of rugby. Australia were warming up on the morning of the second Test at Edgbaston, playing touch rugby, when Glenn McGrath trod on a stray cricket ball and badly injured his ankle. As word spread that McGrath would miss the match, the whole of England celebrated like a dictator had been overthrown.

15 Jun 2015 - 12:06
Submitted by: Emily Zinkin

did not mean to write this novel!  

I was writing a novel about something else set in 1870 and although all my historical novels at least begin in London I always make myself look at whatever else was going on at the time: in England  - and in the rest of the world since I come from the other side of it!  This means I’m eternally coming across all sorts of interesting by-ways and avenues that I can’t always keep myself from exploring (even when the information is totally useless!)

15 Jun 2015 - 12:06
Submitted by: Anonymous

The Magna Carta was granted 800 years ago. A series of events are taking place on the anniversary to mark the occasion, including a flotilla of boats sailing down the Thames and a royal appearance in Runnymede, the site of the charter's sealing all those years ago.

Google has marked the occasion with one of its trademark doodles.


The animated doodle shows King John signing the Magna Carta, meaning ‘The Great Charter’ - which is one of the most famous documents in the world.
So what is it, how did it come about, and what does it do today?