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Thursday, December 20, 2018

Develop your 'unique' writing voice

“If you don't have a unique voice, then you're not really a writer.” – Kate Atkinson

Born on this date in 1951, Atkinson is an English writer and three-time winner of one of Britain’s most prestigious awards – the Whitbread Book of the Year prize – in 1995 under that title, and then in both 2013 and 2015 under its Costa Book Awards designation.  She has authored 9 novels, a play and a short story collection and said she enjoys the “What If” factor when setting out to write.

“Alternate history fascinates me,” she said, “(just) as it fascinates all novelists, because 'What if?' is the big thing.”

Honored by the Queen for Services to Literature, she is noted for works filled with “wit, wisdom and subtle characterization,” and for works with “surprising twists and plot turns.”  While all of her books have earned acclaim, she is best known for her stand-alone novels Behind The Scenes at the Museum and Life After Life and her series featuring private investigator Jackson Brodie, adapted into a BBC series called Case Histories.   
“I usually start writing a novel that I then abandon,” she said.  “When I say abandon, I don't think any writer ever abandons anything that they regard as even a half-good sentence. So you recycle. I mean, I can hang on to a sentence for several years and then put it into a book that's completely different from the one it started in.”

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