At the age of nine, I could cross the length of Glasgow on a succession of buses, wearing regulation garter-topped stockings and compulsory cap and - if I'd done well enough to earn the honour in last week's test - with a First World War medal on a striped ribbon pinned to my brown blazer. I must have looked like a chocolate soldier.
I think, when you are writing non-fiction, you feel there's an obligation to get it absolutely right, so all your factual details have to be, have, you know, to go through a long list of them and tick them. I'm not saying that's not important in fiction, but I think you have a bit more leeway; you can suit yourself.
Let's say I find a lot of current American fiction too overwritten for my tastes, too self-conscious; I like something that's simpler and more direct. The story is what matters to me. I hope to make it seem real to readers, as if it happened just like this - so I don't want fancy descriptions getting in the way.
We become attached to certain characters in novels, mostly because they have some mystery attaching to them. We re-read the books, but we're still left wanting to know more. In my own case, it was 'Great Expectations' and Miss Havisham in particular. Luckily, writers have the option of making up the knowledge that reading doesn't supply.