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Dear Reader

How do you follow up one of the biggest books ever? That’s a question we were keen to ask of The Girl on the Train author Paula Hawkins, and one that she’s been answering for herself since before she knew how successful that book would be. And Paula’s answer struck a chord with us here. She’s not attempted to write a follow-up, or more of the same. In fact she’s been doing exactly what she always has: following her heart and head. That global mega-seller was born out of Paula’s frustration with trying to fit into a restrictive template and write something she didn’t feel an affinity with: chick lit. So she wrote the book that had been playing on her mind, even though it didn’t obviously fit into an existing genre, to great commercial and critical success. And however Into the Water fares commercially (although it’s fair to say it’s going to be one of the biggest selling books of the year regardless), it’s already a personal success. Paula’s exploring the themes and stories that mean something to her. And that – not the acclaim, not the Hollywood adaptation, not the sales figures – is why she’s a great example for all of us.

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About Writing Magazine

How do you follow up one of the biggest books of the decade? The Girl on the Train author Paula Hawkins tells us about changing tracks and writing the book that matters to you in our star interview. What do editors want? There can't be anyone in a better position to tell you than debut novelist Anna Pitoniak, who worked as a Big Five editor before landing her book deal. How is your year's writing plan going? As 2017 hits the halfway mark, we help you stay on target. Look for leads, find the most up-to-date markets for your work and enter the latest writing competitions, with more than £50,000 in writing prizes, in the Writers' News pages, packed with news you can use.

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