Juliet Bates

Two things are important to me: words and pictures, or more particularly the way things sound and the way things look. I spend half my time writing about the way things look and the rest reading my writing aloud to ensure that it sounds right: rhythm and cadence are essential.

The visual arts influence much of my writing. There are so many stories to be found in images and there are so many things to say about the creation of a work of art. I am constantly preoccupied with the blurring of the reality of the real world and that which is presented to us in film, paintings and photographs.

Since 1995 I have worked as a lecturer in art schools in Britain and France. It wasn’t until I moved to France that I began to write seriously. I suppose that my frustrations with the French language forced me to explore my own language more closely. If I couldn’t be articulate in French, at least I could express myself writing in English. But it is more than that; through learning another language I have re-learnt my own. I have grown to appreciate the English language more than I might have had I remained in Britain.

Like most writers, my work has been rejected many more times than it has been accepted, yet still there is nothing more enjoyable or rewarding than constructing a story, or even just a paragraph that works in terms of narrative, meaning, and sound. If I didn’t write I’m not sure what else I would do.

Juliet’s books published by Linen Press

The Missing