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Friday, February 5, 2016

That willingness to share

“Every reader re-creates a novel - in their own imagination, anyway. It's only entirely the writer's when nobody else has read it.”  – Susan Hill

Hill, who was born on this date in 1942, is an English author of “mostly ghost stories.” Among her works are The Woman in Black, The Mist in the Mirror, and I'm the King of the Castle, for which she received the Somerset Maugham Award – a really cool award that can only be used for foreign travel to do more research for your writing.  Named for British writer W. Somerset Maugham, the award is given annually to the best writer or writers under age 35 whose book has been published in the previous year.  Hill won the award in 1971 when she was 29.

An only child she said she was born to be a writer.  “I was never really good at anything else,” she explained.  “I had no other option.  I could write; I wanted to write; I wrote.  Otherwise, I was unemployable.” 

Hill's novels are written in a descriptive gothic style, 
relying on suspense and atmosphere to create impact.   
 About 10 years ago she had the wonderful idea of creating a series of crime novels featuring detective Simon Serrailler, entitled The Various Haunts of Men.  For terrific crime mysteries with an infused “chill” factor, I highly recommend them. 

Hill has won a number of awards for her works and was honored on a recent birthday by being named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for services to literature.  When asked for her advice to new writers she simply advised, “Don’t overwrite.  Once you finish a book, just let it go out into the world to seek its fortune.”

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