A Writer’s Glamorous Life

Reading & Writing

It’s not all premieres and parties, oh no. I’m tired, I haven’t spent an evening home in about a month, and tonight I remember I’ve agreed to go and speak to The Write Stuff, a writer’s group in Dartford.

I think it’s fair to say that Dartford would not easily spring to mind if you were planning a vacation. It’s not horrible, certainly not as bad as the next stop down the line, Gravesend, and it has the Mick Jagger Centre, where writers – and many other groups – meet. But it’s not an obvious option.

And it’s raining – not air sharpening stair-rods but sooty autumnal drizzle. I haven’t eaten. I’d rather be at home with a movie. But I promised to go, and I don’t like to break obligations. My charming PR Lynsey has turned up – a step beyond the call of duty in my book, so the journey’s a laugh. I’m not expecting anyone to come out on such a filthy night.

But lo and behold, a roomful of really nice people who want to improve their writing, who keep the questions coming and make the evening a pleasant surprise. Elaine, who runs the class, gives out prizes and encouragement, and I think how cool it is that we all want to do something other than sit and watch TV. And suddenly I’m looking at them and thinking ‘any one of you could find a readership soon because you’re doing something you genuinely care about’.

It’s still bucketing down when we leave, and the taxi’s vanished. A lady from the class gives us a lift. Lynsey heads off to grab a bite, and I go home thinking this; writers complain that their lives are solitary. It’s only solitary if writers choose it to be; we can all help each other and learn something, it just takes enthusiasm.

6 comments on “A Writer’s Glamorous Life”

  1. Metabrarian says:

    Hi Chris

    It was fantastic to meet you at the Write Place last night. Brilliant evening!!!
    Many thanks for the encouragement. I may well venture out one night to check out a British Fantasy Society get together. Sounds fun and good idea for networking and sharing ideas.

    Good luck with ‘Celebrity’ and getting a publisher for the ‘Paperboy’ sequel.

    Anyhow, must run I guess I’ve got a whole heap of writing to catch up with!

    Cheers once again

    Andy (Metabrarian) 😉

  2. Lynsey says:

    I thought it was a lovely evening, an enthusiastic bunch of people and good company there and back! Nice custard creams too!

  3. Stephen Groves says:

    Hi Chris,
    I to ventured out into that filthy night ,sat nav strapped to my head starving and cold ,But I wouldn’t have missed it for the world, it was a brilliant evening,entertaining ,informative and although as you know i’m not a writer but a proffessonal stalker i thought it was very encouraging for those who do write. They all seemed a lovely bunch of people who truely loved writing.
    A great evening.
    Thanks again

  4. Anne Fernie says:

    I think it was Somerset Maugham who said that a writer cannot wait for the experiences to come to him, he needs to go out and find them. That is probably true for everyone really………

  5. gnf says:

    Hello Mr Fowler,
    a few years ago while on assignment in London I picked up your paperback Soho Black (at Tesco). I read it, didn’t get it, but a few years later when I was throwing out the pile of paperbacks that I’d used to lull myself to sleep after (too many) late nights in the office, something about your book made me put it on the ‘to be kept’ side of the bookshelf.

    Several moves later, via Germany, the Netherlands and now finally Cairo in Egypt, I picked up your book again to read it as a chore, because I’ve decided it’s time to can the corporate career and follow that dusted-off-and-resurrected obsession to be a (no longer starving) scribbler (and not quite in a garret, either) of genre fiction (teens/YA).

    This time I figured out that the surreality of the book was a result of your Mr Tyler imbibing a narcotic substance of unknown but rather resounding effect. On second read, I have enjoyed way you twisted the plot through the lives of disparate characters, connecting and releasing them with the unfolding of the finale. Thus I decided to look you up on the internet and discovered you’ve not only written more novels (and have an impressive media CV to boot), but you also have a number of pages on that most intriguing and frustrating of topics, ‘how to be a writer’. Unlike other successful writers, you attend writer’s groups (despite not always wanting to do it) and encourage people to pursue their authorial passion.

    Thank you for being so refreshingly available (in the written word). I wish I had access to the groups where you kindly provide of your experience and offer support to those wanting to write.

  6. Marc says:

    Hi Christopher,

    It has taken me ages to get round to thanking you for your talk in Dartford. I am one of those who would happily of hung around outside unable to go in, but I am glad I did. My suspicions that tweed would be mandatory were quickly set aside, I really felt energised on leaving, and inspired to start writing rather than simply procrastinating. I would take issue with your liking for Witchfinder General which is second rate compared to the majesty of The Abominable Dr Phibes or Theatre of Blood.

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