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Interview with Cressida Downing

My favourite pens at the moment are Herbin fountain and ballpoint pens.  I’m addicted to the way they write.  I used to always gravitate towards Pentel V5s but discovering a ballpoint pen that you can use ink cartridges in was a game changer.  Herbin then reignited my love of fountain pens.

Cressida Downing2

I really really hate writing in blue ink, particularly with a blue biro, and have been known to ask for a different pen in those circumstances.  I don’t know why, but it makes me feel almost itchy.

I need different notebooks for different things, so I like to have a good stock of shapes and sizes to choose from.  When I’m working with an author, I assign them what I feel is an appropriate notebook which I use for all our meetings.  For our Reading Retreats, I have a ‘catch-all’ notebook that everything goes into, I’m onto my third of those.

I love moleskine and other similar notebooks.  Field Notes are a particularly good brand too, always different and interesting covers.  The interior paper is important too, there’s nothing more disappointing that a beautiful notebook with terrible paper or a bizarre lined arrangement or the like.

Price is a consideration, notebooks have become a lot more expensive in recent years, so I try and buy sensibly.  I did count notebooks and I have over 40 unused ones so that’s not really working now is it?!

I love ink.  I know writing in coloured ink is seen as a little childish or possibly mad at times (beware letters written in green ink) but I’ve decided I can live with that.  I have a collection of cartridges, and some beautiful blended inks that sparkle and have a variety of colour within them.

I like using a fountain pen for everyday writing, but it’s particularly nice for letters and cards, it makes me feel old-fashioned.

Cressida Downing

I can’t live without a notebook on the go.  However I often lose things so I can have up to four notebooks on the go without any problem!  Because I’m very picky about pens, I do always like to have one of my pens with me, rather than risk a bad pen offer when I’m out and about.

My favourite stationery shop is an online one, www.bureaudirect.co.uk  who have a dangerous habit of sending out a weekly round-up of beautiful new items.  I think I should earn a commission as I’ve steered so many people towards them.

I am a freelance editor and I work with authors to help them get the best out of their work.  Some are published, some are self-published and some are just starting out.  I don’t blog very regularly as I’m too busy reading!  I have also started a Reading Retreat business where we take people away for luxurious reading breaks.  Stationery often comes up in conversation!

You can find me at www.thebookanalyst.co.uk or www.readingretreat.co.uk  – my twitter addresses are @BookAnalyst and @RetreatandRead

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