Magical Worlds

Diane Samuels, playwright and author, was the British Library's third Pearson Creative Research Fellow. Over a period of 18 months, Diane researched around the theme of MAGIC, using all kinds of magical ephemera in the library's collections.

Her work culminated in a book entitled A Writer's Magic Notebook. She also wrote a blog of her research into magic.

Read Diane's Blog .

Diane's Introduction

Sometimes sitting in a library reading, listening, browsing, taking in information is not what a writer needs. After working for over a decade as a playwright and researching the nature of pain for an experimental theatre piece, I recently felt that I had been digesting more than enough information. I longed to work entirely from my own resources. So I dedicated myself to writing fiction. I did not set foot in a library for a while. I relied entirely on my imagination. The results, two novels entitled 'Cinderella's Daughter' and '100 Million Footsteps', are now written. Strange how the urge has overcome me to venture again into the library and explore 'what's out there'.

As I sit in the cafe contemplating the wall of books, I realise that I'm being entrusted with the key to a treasure trove. I aim to learn something from staff who work here as I investigate the tomes and pamphlets, typed and hand-written texts, audio and video resources. I look forward to being inspired. My fingers itch to write something unexpected. I hope to share my findings and jottings and creative musings with the library's visitors.

I often glimpse inside every individual a vast labyrinth of visions, ideas, perceptions and fantasies, as extensive as the mountains of words and images within all the texts here. So, I see my role as making connections between what is already recorded and what is yet to be expressed.

My theme is MAGIC.
It promises to be an adventure.
Feel free to join me if you wish.