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The art of completing an unfinished novel

Stepping into another author's shoes to complete an unfinished novel, or to write a new work from scratch in the style of a well-loved author, can be a daunting task.

Novelist Jill Paton-Walsh - who in 1998 finished Dorothy L Sayers' last uncompleted novel Thrones, Dominations - said that extending the life of a character further than the original author requires a great passion for the initial novel or series.

Mike Ripley, who recently completed Mr Campion's Farewell featuring Margery Allingham's detective Albert Campion, explained that when he inherited the novel there was not even a plot to work from.

First broadcast on BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Wednesday 28 May.

  • 28 May 2014