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tv   Meet the Author  BBC News  December 18, 2016 7:45pm-8:01pm GMT

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sight. halfpenny kept his side in touch by half—time, but the fans demanded more. the wales star duly obliged. halfpenny closed the gap to one, yet the three—time european champions made three mistakes. one final chance for the welsh man to break welsh hearts, but no. saracens and sale, who are in the same pool as scarlets, got underway at 5.30. they were made to work for their 26-10 they were made to work for their 26—10 victory. there was a cagey opening to the game. they got a narrow advantage with this huge second—half kick. sale defended well, and almost had a try that
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would have put them ahead. the ball bounced frustratingly. saracens punished them with two late tries, the first from owen farrell. nathan arles then added some gloucester the scoreline later on. too little, too late — they remain bottom of the pool there was one match in the european challenge cup — newcastle beat lyon olympique 48 points to 29. john higgins and marco fu are into the final session of the scottish open snookerfinal. higgins hit three centuries to go up. marco fu fought back. they started at 7pm and
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they have been playing for 45 minutes in the ninth frame, but no conclusion to that yet. 4—1; is still the score. britain's scott brash has won the world cup show—jumping event at the london international horse show at olympia. the olympic team gold medallist from london 2012, riding hello m'lady, beat a top class field in a jump off to win the most prestigious indoor class in the uk. brash finished just ahead of his british team mate ben maher on diva. sports personality of the year is underway on bbc one. there are 60 nominees for the main award. details are on the bbc sport website. one major board has already been given out, perhaps no surprise for the winner of coach of the year — claudio ranieri, the leicester city
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manager, given the award with many of his players there to cheer him on. plenty more awards to be handed out and we will bring those later on. that is all from us. much more sport on the news channel with me throughout the. goodbye for now. a man is adrift after a storm at sea, lost, convinced it's the end of him. we don't know who he is, how exactly he came to be there, and nor, for much of the time, does he. that's the story of cove, the latest short novel from the pen of cynanjones, who's developed a highly distinctive style in books like the dig, that lets him turn his characters inside out. like this man, drifting alone in his kayak, looking for land and safety, who says that his memory is now like a dropped pack of cards. welcome. in a way, cynan, this book
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is a simple description of absolute terror, isn't it? it is. it's a man blinded by a flash of light, if you want to call it that, and in the thrall of that with an underlying idea that there is much more than his own encapsulation in that sudden moment, sort of thing. it's a really difficult thing to try and transmit in writing. he loses everything. he thinks he's going to lose his life. he loses his mind in some ways, but there's a wonderful moment where he sees the label on a bag in the kayak. and he says, with his name on it, and he says it's like looking into an empty cup. it's all gone. how difficult was it to imagine what that feeling is like? i think a lot of what i do comes from the process that i have of building a story in my mind
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before going near the desk. so i like to start writing after i can see something, and i write as if i'm remembering. i don't want to discuss what we learn at the beginning of the book too much, because it might spoil it a little bit for people who are going to read it. but i think what we can say is that it's a picture of someone who is utterly alone for the whole story, in practice. that's a very difficult thing for most of us to imagine, isn't it? it's difficult for people to imagine. it's a very difficult thing to write, which i realised as soon as i started trying to write it. why? because there's no reference points. previously my books have been about people with very solid ground under their feet. and what i wanted to do, because i believe you should always be learning when you write, was to take that ground away, take the relationships away, take the location people had in previous novels away, and write about a character who was, as you say, utterly alone.
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at that point, how do you bring the otherness into a narrative? it does ask the question, i think, are we ever alone? which sounds slightly cliched, but is it possible, with the consciousness that we have, to ever really be alone? and the book really asks that. and his contact, for example, with a sunfish that comes along and is about as big as his boat. it turns out not to want to attack him but to be with him, and possibly steers the thing in a helpful direction. now, is that an example of what we all do when we do think we're alone, we create patterns in a random universe to try and make sense of it? absolutely. and i think it's also a result of growing up where i grew up, when you're constantly surrounded by the natural environment and the things in nature. and you do, regardless of how cynical you always sound about not having a spirituality, you simply create narratives through them. you see a lot of the world play out, a lot of human conditions play out, in cameo, in small ways, in the world around you. and i think something like the sunfish device, yes,
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you'd give it meaning, wouldn't you? and the other thing that you get from these natural descriptions, which are wonderful in the book, is that sense of unchannelled power which are wonderful in the book, is that sense of untrammeled power that is just going to have its way with you, whatever you do? you're much smaller than it. that's something which you recognise as soon as you're out on the water. there's a sort of safe zone where you feel quite comfortable, quite connected, but there's a distance from land when that platform of the kayak, which is the only land under yourfeet, becomes very obviously frail. have you ever had, at sea, a moment of terror that touches on this story? i mean, have you felt that moment of being, as it were, adrift? yes, and it's very sudden. you can be entirely calm,
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but at the next moment there's just a lurch in the boat, a tip in the boat. your line catches on something, and the boat sort of halts. the only reaction is an animal one. i've had a long time growing up being on the sea in different ways. the experience that he goes through with the dolphins happened when i was 16, night fishing. a friend of mine essentially passed out with the cold, and they came and they played around the boat. i've been in the boat when it has hailed, and you hear the hailstones hissing around you. i've been tipped out of the kayak in a very sudden squall. you amalgamate these experiences. they last for a very long time. they simmer for a very long time before they find fruit into a novel, i think. it sounds from what you say, about the way you come to a story through memory after you've been through the idea in your own head meticulously, that you paired it down almost like a sculptor starting meticulously, that you pare it down almost like a sculptor starting with a bit of stone and getting down to its essence. is that how you see it? yes, to throw away any what i call "passenger writing". and i think that's driven by a great trust in the reader.
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i write because i love to read, it's a side effect of that. so trusting the reader to have that creative ability themselves to build the rest of the picture means i then pair it back to a point where you're pare it back to a point where you're just triggering the mind. one of the things you've done as a writer, long before you got to this book, is to dispense with quotation marks in the normal way in which people speak. and you represent the man here from the third person — he is he, but it's quite often you. he becomes somebody who is out there, but is also inside of us. i mean, you find that mechanism useful? i think it's a great myth of narrative that you have to pick one or the other. we don't live like that. we're constantly panning and closing up to ourselves, i think. shifting perspective? shifting perspective constantly. and what i wanted to do, with the tense changes, those devices you talked about, was to create a sense of ebb and flow, of left and right paddle, of peak and trough. i needed the whole...
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i needed the surface, the narrative layer, to be shifting like the water. and if you want the reader to be inside the kayak, not to say inside the man, then that all helps, because it declared as the way you tell the story. because it declutters the way you tell the story. i think so. i mean, ithink, having written it, the way i feel about it is quite filmic. i see it visually. i can see the camera spilling out from the boat, i can see the close—up of the hands. but not necessarily through the eyes of the character, if that makes sense. no, indeed. sometimes you are, but in the way that the camera can do that. it's a shifting focus. read us a little bit, including that full description. maybe the moment which is a crisis in the book. and this is not giving anything away, i mean, he's clearly somebody who believes he's going to come to grief as a result of a storm, an amazing flash of lightning. just read that passage to us. the first lightning strikes out somewhere past the horizon. at first, he thinks it's some sudden glint.
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the thunder happens moments later, and he feels sick in his guts. a metallic sheen comes to the water, like cutlery, like metal much touched. and you've seen that yourself? i've been there, and not gladly, not hit by lightning. but i've certainly been on the water when the electricity about you changes. and it's this extraordinarily connected process — you go beyond thought, in some respects. the hairs on your arms go up. you feel that you are, as you said earlier, in the thrall of something far bigger than you. do you think that what we should feel, as we get to the end of the story, is relief at the strength of, you know, the human spirit, whatever we call it? or is it one of, i don't know, terror at the forces that we're never going to be able to tame?
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what i was trying to do, because there is neverjust one ending, you always choose the one that's strongest after you've written several. what i was trying to do was to put those questions to the reader, for them to answer, depending on the characters or the state of mind after the book or the general state of mind. so i think there is very much room for both, and that was hard fought for in the writing. cynanjones, thank you very much. thank you. a big change on the way as we look at the weather for the week ahead. let's start with a bit of sunshine. this is an rspb reserve in east yorkshire. thank you for the lovely pictures that you send. fog is affecting parts of england and wales, some dense patches out there tonight and into tomorrow morning.
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there is a weather front bringing outbreaks of rain to northern ireland in western scotland. there could be frost, but the greater worry tomorrow is this dense fog thatis worry tomorrow is this dense fog that is affecting parts of england and wales. it could have an impact in some spots, so to gauge things near you , in some spots, so to gauge things near you, tune into your local bbc radio station in the morning. some fog around in the morning, but generally misty and murky through a large part of england and wales. temperatures will be around six celsius. in northern ireland and scotland, this weather front comes through, it is a weak affair. the worst of the rain will be in the western highlands as the day begins. the rain will move to the south—east through the day, becoming increasingly lightened patchy. behind that, if you're lucky, before the sun goes down, you might see
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some sunshine. in england and wales, patchy outbreaks of rain in the east and south—east of england. where there is fog, things should gradually improved, and temperatures topped out in single figures. on tuesday, patchy rain in the west of england and wales. they weather system is coming into the north west, so initially in northern ireland and parts of scotland. gales in places. low pressure takes over as the week goes on. this is bbc news.
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i'm lukwesa burak. the headlines at eight. in syria the evacuation of civilians from eastern aleppo is hit with another set back, as buses due to help people leave two villages north of the city are set alight. it comes as the un security council agrees a draft resolution ensuring un officials can monitor the evacuation of the city. members will vote tomorrow. russia has threatened to veto the measure. the trade secretary liam fox says britain could remain a member of the eu customs union after brexit. ahead of another strike by southern rail conductors tomorrow, the rmt leader, mick cash, dismisses claims his union is using the dispute to take on the government. great britain's real heroes could be infor great britain's real heroes could be in for more


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