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Righteousness scares me Tuesday, August 19, 2014

We saw the Old Vic’s production of Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’ last night. It’s a superb production, but what struck me most forcibly was how good the play is. I’m hard to please in the theatre, and usually emerge muttering, ‘I didn’t believe any of it.’ This is written in a semi-Biblical 17th century English that should have set my teeth on edge, but I believed every word and every moment. The dramatic structure that Miller has built around the Salem witch trials is masterly. He simply never puts a foot wrong. The greatest tribute I can offer is that it chilled Read More

Recent Questions

Submitted by visitors to this website

Posted by Mo Levsky

August 18th 2014

One or two letters to newspapers apart, I have never attempted to write. Circumstances dictate that I am now persuaded otherwise, with the result that, off the top of my head, I have completed two or three of what could be seven hundred pages. Autobiographical, I know it has the potential to be anything, but am unsure as to what my next move is, although I have no wish to bandy it, or the idea, around. I read an article featuring you in the Observer, which is how I came to this site. Please advise, regards..

William Nicholson responded:

Your next move is to get some reaction to what you've written, despite your fears. Try it on a friend who you think may be the sort of reader you have in mind. You'll find simply having someone other than yourself read it changes your own perception of your work. Then you have to decide what it is you're writing, and, I'm afraid, you have to finish it. Then you test it again on others. Then you rewrite it to make it better. Then you begin the slog of selling it, to agents or publishers. Don't worry about having your idea stolen. How you write is as important as what you write, and no one else will write like you. Your work will remain your own however many people see it.

Posted by Emily

August 18th 2014

Hi. I've just read "Motherland" and was wondering if it's a coincidence that Geraldine's past problem with a man is echoed in Nell's admirer Peter's wife's situation. Are we to assume that Geraldine has actually been married before (to him)? I assume not, but wanted to ask the question, as I very much appreciate the depth of your novels, coming in part from the occurrence of various mental/physical health issues, often years before they have official names. It is clearly something of which you are very aware. I found this even more so in "Reckless", although it did not answer my question about Geraldine!

William Nicholson responded:

No, I don't mean you to think that Geraldine was married to Peter before. I see your reason for wondering about this - perhaps I've overdone it by having two women who have a reluctance to have sex, though I suspect this is more widespread than we think. In my master plan Geraldine has only been married once. Though I'm still writing, so there's still time...

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Past and current works


  • The Society of Others
  • The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life
  • All the Hopeful Lovers
  • The Golden Hour
  • Motherland
  • Reckless


  • The Windsinger
  • Slaves of the Mastery
  • Firesong
  • Seeker
  • Jango
  • Noman
  • Rich and Mad


  • Shadowlands
  • Gladiator
  • Mandela
  • Les Miserables
  • Firelight
  • Nell
  • Sarafina
  • Elizabeth: The Golden Age


  • The Retreat from Moscow
  • Shadowlands
  • Katherine Howard