Oscar Wilde often makes me smile. “I never travel without my diary,” he wrote. “One should always have something sensational to read in the train.”

April 23rd was World Book Night, which celebrates books and spreads the joy and love of reading. For the third year in a row I was fortunate enough to be picked as one of the book givers. I had to apply to give away a boxful of books, and there was a list from which to choose. I wanted to pick a novel I had read and enjoyed, and I wanted something that most people would like, something that would interest those who seldom pick up a book, as well as those who already love reading. I chose Rose Tremain’s The Road Home, and so far feedback has been positive.

What makes a book something you have difficulty putting down? The writer’s style is important, yes, but more than anything the plot has to be gripping, doesn’t it?

Here are my pointers for a successful book:

  • A brilliant opening.
  • Pace
  • A satisfying ending, whether it’s beautiful, stunning, unexpected or poignant.

There’s nothing quite like a book that delivers all three of these. Now all I’ve got to do is apply this advice to the novel I’m working on.



 FROG: (indignantly)

What do you mean – lost the plot? I’m doing research for  my next story.

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