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Radio 4 Extra's Book at Beachtime: Before I Go to Sleep

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SJ Watson SJ Watson 14:45, Thursday, 30 June 2011

Editor's note: Radio 4 Extra have been running a season of readings for the summer, Book at Beachtime. Each of the books in the series has been adapted in five parts and is broadcast on 4 Extra Monday to Friday at 2.30pm and is then available to listen online for seven days afterwards. This week's book is Before I go to Sleep by SJ Watson who introduces it on the blog - PM.

SJ Watson

Writing a book is an odd experience. Winston Churchill wrote that a book begins as "a toy", and then turns into "a tyrant". The last phase, he says, "is that you kill the monster, and fling him to the public."

While Before I Go to Sleep never became a monster, I can see Churchill's point. It's a book I nurtured right from conception, through the glorious first few weeks when, like a newborn baby, it fascinated and enthralled me, and on into the teenage stage when it refused to behave or do anything it was told. Now that it's been 'flung' to the public, it doesn't feel like mine anymore.

Believe it or not, it's a great feeling. Before I Go to Sleep is out in the world, kicking around, doing its own thing. I feel like a parent who's finally let go, except it doesn't even ask me for money. I love hearing what it's got up to, I love hearing what other people have taken from it and how they've interpreted it, and I'm really looking forward to hearing this new version on Books at Beachtime. I hope you enjoy it, too.

SJ Watson is the author of Before I go to Sleep



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