Silja Swaby, half Jamaican, half Finnish, is a marine biologist and author. Funded by Arts Council England, she has won competitions, and been placed in prizes and awards. She is working on a series of futuristic thrillers, featuring a female biologist whose quiet academic life takes a drastic turn. Silja has taken creative writing courses at Cambridge University and more recently Yale University, USA.

Silja tutors writers, gives workshops, and provides a critique service. She is happily unmarried and lives in deepest Somerset, UK.

Silja Swaby is pronounced Sil-yah Sway-bee.

April 11, 2013


I've noticed how few writing workshops, talks by authors or self-help books properly deal with theme. Perhaps because a book or story theme is (or should be) invisible, like the engine in a car or your skeleton, doesn't mean it's not there or vital for the thing to work. A theme is the whole ethos of your story, not character, plot or even a one word summary, like revenge. It's the journey from where the story starts to its logical end. Love leads to death is the theme of Madame Bovary and everything ties into this one unstated phrase.

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