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Posted by Adrian Dickinson

December 29th 2011

Not a question, but just a note to say how much I enjoyed 'The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life', partly because I was born and grew up in Lewes, but principally because I really admire your technique of '3rd person monologue', your empathy with characters, and what seemed to be the stoic but heartening belief, which, as a therapist, I might phrase in Freud's words as turning hysterical misery into common unhappiness, but which you take further to something almost transcendent. Thank you very much.

William Nicholson responded:

I appreciate your kind words. The novel as therapy - I hardly dare advance such a case, but secretly I think it's how I use my own reading.

Posted by Paul Senar

December 24th 2011

Mr Nicholson I would like to wish you and your family a very happy christmas and a very prosperous and happy new year. You are truly an inspiration. Kindest regards Paul Senar

William Nicholson responded:

Thank you.

Posted by Kirsty Tyre

December 23rd 2011

In 'The Secret Intensity of Everyday Life,' and 'All the Hopeful Lovers' you cover the complications that life invariably brings, touching on what goes on 'behind closed doors,' with people overtly just displaying the 'rosy' side of their relationships. Are there any other books or films that gave you inspiration for this material?

William Nicholson responded:

Everything I've ever read and admired. I believe that the power of novels lies precisely in this ability to go into people's minds and show what our daily life conceals from us. So I'm a fan of the somewhat old-fashioned naturalistic novel, rather than works that depend for their effect on style. Hence my vast respect for Tolstoy.

Posted by cilla

December 22nd 2011

Playwriter William Nicholson, We are four friends who are going to see your play The Retreat from Moscow. It will be set up at the city theater in Stockholm, in January. We have decided to read the play in beforehand for better understanding. But before we start reading we wonder if you could give us your opinion on why there is marriage? Thanks in advance! Kind regards Cilla

William Nicholson responded:

You'll find my play is about the failure of a marriage - but beyond that I have tried to write about two people who are both well-intentioned and honourable, and yet cause each other great misery. I'm not a believer in villains. All three characters - there's a grown son as well - see from their own point of view only. We, the audience, can see what they're doing to each other in a way that they cannot. As for your question, 'Why marriage?', surely we all suffer from, or rejoice in, the longing to be known intimately and to be loved faithfully? We use marriage these days as our means to secure ourselves emotionally, and the burden is too great for the frail structure. Alice, at the centre of my play, has simply invested too much. This isn't a fault of marriage, but of her demands on it. Or so I believe. The play is based on my own parents, so maybe I'm too close to it. See what you think. And do note the way the boy begins by thinking it's up to him to help, and slowly comes to realise he too is in need of help. I hope you enjoy it.

Posted by Ileana Montealegre

December 18th 2011

Was the Firelight script based on a book or novel? How did you imagined such a lovely story?

William Nicholson responded:

I made it up myself. There's no book behind it. Making up stories is what writers do, or should do. The story is mostly about parental love, of course; which I do feel very strongly. I'm really pleased you respond so well to it.

Posted by Ben Wesley

December 15th 2011

Hi, I am a year 13 A-level student at Ormiston Victory Academy. I am currently studying BTEC Performing Arts. One of our units is Principles of Acting. We are looking at your play 'Map of the Heart' I was wondering if you could give me any information on the background of the play, the characters and any other information that you can give please? This would be much appreciated and this will help my studies Thank you! Hope to hear from you.

William Nicholson responded:

I'm not sure what you want to know. The play is of course about marriage, not kidnap - about the way we don't know what to value until we lose it. Also, as in all my work, all the protagonists are 'good' people. Loving people, doing what they think is for the best, inflict great pain on each other. No villains, only the mess of life.