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Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Start late, write strong

“My advice would be not to write until after 35. You need some experience, and for life to knock you about a bit. Growing up is so hard you probably won't have much emotion to spare anyway.” – Joanna Trollope

Born on this date in 1943, Trollope is a British writer who also writes under the pseudonym of Caroline Harvey. She started her writing career with a bang as her first novel – Parson Harding's Daughter – was the 1980 the Romantic Novel of the Year, as named by the Romantic Novelists' Association.

She’s had several novels adapted for television, especially on the award-winning PBS series “Masterpiece Theater.”  The best-known is The Rector's Wife.  Her “upmarket” family dramas and romances tend to transcend these two genres, and she’s noted for writing with “striking realism,” especially in terms of human psychology 
and relationships. 

“I plot the first 5 or 6 chapters quite minutely, and also the end. So I know where I am going but not how I'm going to get there,” she said.  “That gives (my) characters the chance to develop organically, just as happens in real life as you get to know a person.”

Nearly 40 when she penned her first book, she said she is a firm believer that “You can’t be too old to be a writer.”  But, she added, “You definitely can be too young.”

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