My book has a very simple surface, but there are layers of irony and paradox all the way through it.
No one is ever really a stranger. We cling to the belief that we share nothing with certain people. It's rubbish. We have almost everything in common with everyone.
I really like the idea of being a bit unpredictable. I'm known for being a nice, easy-going person with a straightforward exterior. So I think a bit of me wants to be sort of sly and devious.
Obviously I have a capacity for feeling extreme anxiety, and there are people out there who don't. I'm to some extent rather jealous of them.
With English literature, if you do a bit of shonky spelling, no one dies, but if you're half-way through a maths calculation and you stick in an extra zero, everything just crashes into the ravine.
I have very fond memories of swimming in Walden Pond when we lived in Boston. You'd swim past a log and see all these turtles sunning themselves. Slightly disturbing if you thought about how many more were swimming around your toes, but also rather wonderful.
For me, disability is a way of getting some extremity, some kind of very difficult situation, that throws an interesting light on people.
No one wants to know how clever you are. They don't want an insight into your mind, thrilling as it might be. They want an insight into their own.
Madness doesn't happen to someone alone. Very few people have experiences that are theirs alone.
If you enjoy math and you write novels, it's very rare that you'll get a chance to put your math into a novel. I leapt at the chance.
As a teenager, I was always this strange mixture of kind of vice-captain of the rugby team and sensitive artist type the rest of the time. I was sent away to this public school in the middle of nowhere, and I think we managed to completely miss out on normal youth culture.
Reading is a conversation. All books talk. But a good book listens as well.
Most of my work consisted of crossing out. Crossing out was the secret of all good writing.
I better make the plot good. I wanted to make it grip people on the first page and have a big turning point in the middle, as there is, and construct the whole thing like a roller coaster ride.
I don't remember deciding to become a writer. You decide to become a dentist or a postman. For me, writing is like being gay. You finally admit that this is who you are, you come out and hope that no one runs away.
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