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The Gruffalo author Julia Donaldson on busking and Judi Dench

With sales of ‘The Gruffalo’ topping 13 million, Julia Donaldson is one of the most successful children’s authors ever. She tells John Walsh how busking in hippie-era San Francisco – and sharing a stage with Judi Dench – helped her on the path to literary stardom

One Minute Interview with Jackie Collins

Where are you now and what can you see?

Sitting in my writing study gazing out at the Hollywood Hills, a profusion of palm trees and my gorgeous azure swimming pool.

Long live Jackie Collins's feminist heroines; Week in Books

When Linda discovered her husband, David, was having an affair with a young actress, she didn’t stand by her man, or go lingerie-shopping in hope to win him back (this was the 1960s). She filed for divorce. The mistress got bored and David promptly ran back to Linda, only to find her with a new man – a Hollywood big cheese – who, in the parlance of this fiction, could keep it in his trousers. David hit the bottle. The women went on to greater things. The End.

When Stephen King met Lee Child

At a recent book signing by the bestsellng authors, the crowd went wild. But the two biggest fans in the room were the writers themselves.

Remembrances of a great poet: PJ Kavanagh

P. J. Kavanagh was the natural heir to Louis MacNeice. He praised MacNeice’s “wristy” manner and that is the key to his own best poetry. Commentators tend to refer to his nature poetry in the line of Edward Thomas and Ivor Gurney, his Catholicism, but like no other poet he captured that MacNeiceian rhythmic kick that drives the poem on.