The thing that I was brought up to prize above everything else is the intellect. There is no problem that the intellect cannot solve, but it never had an original thought. Originality is the realm of the unconscious.
As far as the world was concerned, from 1979 to 1996, I didn't publish any original material; it just wasn't there.
Everything I have ever written has been in the same chair, in the same room.
I learnt that I must never finish a book with nothing else to do.
I love research so much that I do an enormous amount; it helps put off the moment of starting to write the story.
My background is deep and set in deep time, and in a narrow space, oral traditions going back a long, long time, which I inherited by osmosis.
My primary tongue, I would call North-West Mercian.
I loathe crowds. I especially don't like cities. A city involves biomass. And biomass gets to me.
I've learned never to try and force words to come.
If you are going to write, nothing will stop you, and if you are not going to write, nothing will make you.
My attitude is that if anybody of any age wants to read a book, let them, but I do think that no child would want to read 'Boneland.'
My great-grandfather was a self-taught man, and his library was extraordinary. I read the lot.
My mother read nursery rhymes to me, and my grandmother told me folk stories, but as a child I had no interest in writing whatsoever.
I don't think I've ever frightened myself before when writing, but there were areas where there was terror, as though I was looking into somewhere that I didn't know existed before, and it frightened me.
My feeling is that writing is, for me, a pathological condition. That could sound like a mystical experience, and it may be a mystical experience, but I have learnt just to go with it.
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