good writing

One of the reasons we love good writing is that it can take you anywhere. That’s why you see people reading on the morning commute, or sitting on the Tube, their nose thrust into the pages of a book, busy being anywhere but where they are. You open a book and slip away from the everyday and the mundane into some other world – be it brighter, more comical, more dangerous, more surreal. The choice is yours and the possibilities are endless.
Escape, education, entertainment or enlightenment – good writing can whisk you away from the same old same old and drop you slap bang in the middle of any one of them, all at the turn of a page. The power of a writer’s imagination meets the power of yours, and even though you’re in bright sunshine on the beach, the thriller you’re reading chills you to the bone. Five minutes ago you were bored, but now you’re enthralled by the comic tales of hapless lads abroad, and the tears are rolling down your face. You’d never given a moment’s thought to what life on the other side of the world would be like, but now you feel like you’ve been there. It’s so obvious it barely bears saying, but just as you don’t have to have been a scottish junkie to enjoy Trainspotting, you don’t need to be feeling miserable to be moved by stories which are sad, or dark, or which evoke a visceral fear.
It’s an amazing power, this combination of words and imagination. It can open up worlds, take you away from the people around you, and connect you with characters you’ll never meet and make them real. It is – in a very real sense – a kind of magic. You open a book, dive headlong into the printed word, let the writer lead you somewhere you may never have dreamed existed, and return changed, seeing the world through different eyes.
Publishing – at least the way we do it – is about finding the stories that make us dream, which take us somewhere we never expected to go and make us want to go there again. It’s about us trusting that there’s an audience out there who’ll want to go there too. Each and every time we bring a new book into existence, it’s an act of faith. An offering. An adventure.
At which point you might expect us to give you the old hard sell about one – or indeed all – of our books. But that’s not what this is about. Consider it a little nudge, a gentle reminder to treat yourself to the gift of good writing. Whether you go to a bookshop or a library, a website or a charity shop, make time this week to immerse yourself in some good writing and the countless alternative worlds which lie within the covers of a book. You won’t regret it.


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