Each new book is a tremendous challenge.
Everyone wants to get better as they go along, but sometimes it's all you can do to stay consistent.
If I planned everything out in advance, I'd expire of boredom.
Fear and I were old buddies, despite my best efforts to the contrary.
Nobody is surprised that women writers accurately represent male characters over and over again, no doubt because everybody knows that women understand men much better than vice-versa.
I write longer sentences than most of the others, maybe because I probably like Henry James more than they do.
My first real breakthrough collided with the last months of Callaghan's Labour government, which had every intention of enjoying my success as much as I did.
There have been times when I reread - or at least leafed through - something because I'd sent a copy to a friend, and what usually happened was that I noticed dozens and dozens of clumsy phrases I wished I could rewrite.
However, I think I managed to reach a new level with Koko, and I will always be grateful for the experience.
Many fiction writers eventually want to feel that their work forms a single, unified entity.
Instead, I was interested in what I guess I could call narrative indeterminacy, in questioning the apparent, taken-for-granted authority of any particular representation of the events in question.
The actual Blue Rose murders, which lie at the core of the three novels, yield various incorrect solutions which assume the status of truth.
When, in the third book, we do learn the identity of the Blue Rose murderer, the information comes in a muted, nearly off-hand manner, and the man has died long before.
Dick Dart emerged from the ether during a flight from New York with my wife and children to Puerto Rico.
An average working day begins at 8 or 9 am, includes an hour for lunch, and ends at 5 or 6 pm.
On gym days, I don't get to my desk until 4 in the afternoon, and everything except bedtime and the appointment with the liquid narcotic is pushed back a bit.
I had a connoisseur's... appreciation of fear.
There were a lot of adventure books for boys, historical novels by Kenneth Roberts, and whatever mystery novels the alarmed librarian imagined might not corrupt an eager but innocent youth.
I instantly chucked my academic ambitions and began writing fiction full-time.
As soon as I started writing Julia, by which I mean while writing its first sentence, I felt a sudden, reassuring charge of excitement. I knew it was going to work.
I believe I encountered death, which was a bit too much for a seven-year-old.
These days, there are a great many books about childhood trauma and its effects, but at the time all the experts agreed that one should forget about it as quickly as possible and pick up where you left off.
I generally wade in blind and trust to fate and instinct to see me through.