Charles Lambert Interview : Memory, ‘Truth’ and Lucky Jockstraps

Interview with: Charles Lambert
by Megan Taylor

Having loved his award-winning collection ‘The Scent of Cinnamon and Other Stories’ (Salt, 2008), I was delighted to meet Charles Lambert earlier this year. Charles was just as warm and interesting as you might expect from his writing and after being thoroughly blown away by his most recent release, ‘With a Zero at its Heart’ (The Friday Project, 2014) , I got back in touch with him to find out more.

‘With a Zero at its Heart’ is an unforgettable book, which tells the story of a man’s life through a series of beautiful fragments. The language is as breathtaking as its structure is groundbreaking – every one of its twenty-four themed chapters is divided into ten paragraphs, each of these consisting of 120 words. This seemingly patchwork approach comes together triumphantly (seamlessly!) illuminating what it is to grow and love and lose – to be alive.

It’s a mesmerising and compelling read, full of human treasures, which made me smile and cringe, laugh and cry. Subjects including ‘The Body’, ‘Theft’, ‘Money’ and ‘Waiting’ reveal that there is nothing mundane, even in life’s smallest moments, and in the chapter entitled ‘Work’ I don’t think I have ever read such a resonant description of the magic of writing.

...The one true work is the one that works something out, uncertain what it is, working in darkness, working the inside out. Outside the circle of light is the darkness and silence of a mine and there is no telling what the mine will hold. What’s mine is yours. There is no sense to work but in the doing.

In the wake of this perfect depiction, it feels almost sacrilegious to ask Charles to explain his writing further. Nevertheless, here I go...

Filth by Marianne Beyer

Foul, it was foul. Naida clamped her hand over her nose, but it was too late. Trapped inside her nostrils, the fumes were spreading to her brain, dissolving it. She gagged and her hand scrambled to extract three mints from the box she kept ready in her pocket. No sucking now, this is an emergency.

To read more click here.  

Guest Article : The Pros and Cons of Prequels, Sequels and Spin-Offs

 by Frank Westworth
Illustration: Bradley Wind

There is something monstrous frustrating about writing. And writing provides an essential release from the frustrations of writing. Does that read like nonsense?

I’ve been writing full-time since 1988. I write mostly non-fiction about motorcycles, with cars thrown in on occasion. Writing about a personal obsession is a dream occupation, is it not? It is; there’s nothing subtly clever in that comment. But it’s also monstrous frustrating. Editors make constant demands on authors. I know this to be true because I’ve been a full-time editor for exactly as long as I’ve been a full-time writer, and I make the same demands on myself as on the authors whose copy I buy: wordage, style, structure, syntax. I do this because The Reader demands it. Monthly magazines survive only if they appeal sufficiently to The Reader, and the magazines I’ve edited have been survivors. Mostly.

Art by A.J. Grace-Smith

Running late sorry! Start without me or you’ll freeze. Will find you when I get there. Soon as poss! Tim x
            It was supposed to begin at Tate Modern at three o’clock on a Saturday afternoon. The location had been his idea. Being early had been hers. Her idea hadn’t been a good one.

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Who Are You? A Review

Who Are You?
By Elizabeth Forbes
Published by Cutting Edge Press
Reviewed by Jessica Patient

Sometimes the second novel from an author can be a bit disappointing after a fantastic first novel. However, Elizabeth Forbes is not one of those authors. Who Are You? Is just as gripping as her first novel, The Nearest Thing to Crazy, which we reviewed here at The View From Here back in 2013.

On the surface, Alex and Juliet are the perfect couple. Alex, once a career officer in an elite regiment for the army now has a job in the city while Juliet stays at home, in their detached house in the leafy suburbs of London, looking after their young son, Ben. But things are not what they seem. Forbes picks away at the surface of the perfect couple and their perfect life to reveal a chilling, gritty story.

Jenna From Florida by Shae Krispinsky

Through the windshield I see a figure bundled in black with head down-turned against the wind. Shuffling but bold—a man, trudging through a typical winter storm. There's something familiar in the gait. I try to place it as I slow from my crawl to a stop.
            Rolling down the window, I call out, “Need a ride?”

To read more click here