Most books are surplus to the world's requirements, and I am going to sound very conceited here, but I am trying to write books that aren't just using up trees.
'The Crimson Petal and the White' is a book, and it will win or lose the trust of each reader when they begin reading its pages. That relationship will go on.
Art is head space that is very exclusive: it shuts people out; other people cease to exist.
The privileged Victorians who did most to improve the lives of the poor were not ashamed of their pious intent: they were superiors seeking to help inferiors.
'A Christmas Carol' is an extravagantly symbolic thing - as rich in symbols as Christmas pudding is rich in raisins.
When we ask bureaucrats to identify who is responsible for fixing anything, they reassure us that there are 'procedures in place.'
A text may be superbly written, exquisitely subtle, deeply meaningful, but still seem like a luxury extra, something we add to the already well-stocked store of our reading experience.
All my novels are about people who strive to heal and evolve.
For years, I was quite a militant atheist. I wanted to burn down all the churches or turn them into second-hand record emporiums.
I am open-eyed about what poverty does to people.
I get increasingly respectful of people who have faith and increasingly creeped out by them.
I had been attempting novels since I was 14 but always ran out of steam. High hopes, poor craftsmanship.
I tend to process emotional stuff very, very slowly.
I think I have written the things I was put on Earth to write.
I was disinclined to have the status of a writer.
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