Many people will have heard or sung parts of Handel’s Messiah at Christmas, but few of them, I suspect, will be familiar with the story of rejection and rehabilitation that lies behind its creation.
Snow swirled by the window and an empty fireplace taunted my blue fingers as I sat in the parlour of Lednice Castle, in the Czech republic, listening to the tap, tap, tap of inspiration seeping from my soul into my brain.
Imagine a story where everything is just fine and dandy. A story where nobody wants anything, because life is peachy.
It's an all-too-common issue with writers. They write a novel, rewrite it, edit it, and get it published.
In truth, anyone can write a first novel. The proof of a writer’s talent comes from the second and subsequent books and the creation of a completely different set of characters for each new story.
I regularly buy The Daily Telegraph – once a week, on a Saturday. Not for its political opinions I hasten to add, I’d be just as happy to read The Independent, although I usually find Charles Moore’s views eminently sensible.