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Maggie O'Farrell: My life is almost enough inspiration

27th April 2010

Bestselling author Maggie O'Farrell rarely has to look any further than her diaries when seeking inspiration, she has claimed.

In an interview with the Independent, the After You'd Gone writer explained that she tends to draw on her own experiences when crafting her novels, revealing she has kept a diary since the age of ten.

O'Farrell also claimed families are a 'ready-made crucible' for writers and said growing up in a family of five people has given her 20 different relationships to use as models in her works.

However, she admitted that her own diaries were not all she used when writing her latest effort, The Hand That First Held Mine, as she needed help making its 1950s setting ring true.

'I read a lot of fiction from around that time: Muriel Spark, Margaret Drabble ... The way people spoke was completely different then. I had to get the cadences right and the idiomatic London English,' the author told the newspaper.

Earlier this month, Chocolat author Joanne Harris told the Metro that writers cannot rely on inspiration alone and often have to force themselves to work.

© W&G Foyle Ltd
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