BOOK REVIEW / Paperbacks: On Being a Writer - ed Bill Strickland: Writer's Digest Books, pounds 9.95.

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The Independent on Sunday Thirty-two American writers reveal their trade secrets in interviews over three decades. From Steinbeck ('I still don't know how to go about it except to write it and take my chances') to Tom Robbins ('Insist on joy in spite of everything'), this collection should give aspiring authors solace and readers fascinating insights into their literary idols. With telling photo-portraits.