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'This is often the case with writing; extended longueurs which can seem to last for centuries, when you simply have to trust that, somewhere, beneath the implacable, icy mass, idea pebbles are being tumbled and turned.'
'A classic crime story starts with a dead body and then we work backwards, often with a central detective character, to find out how this came about. Whereas a thriller starts with a huge potential danger and a race against time to prevent it.'
'Many of us have Kindles and yet we still buy books, because sometimes we just want something to hold. Or because it's easier to study from a book. On the tube, at least half the carriage are reading something.'
'The student distrusts their own abilities to evoke a fictional world and so they add in more and more detail. But they also distrust their reader, so they add in more words of explanation, and this has the paradoxical effect of crowding out the reader.'
'At night, I meditate on the problem. I ask myself, what is the problem? Am I stuck because I have run out of ideas, or do my ideas not sound authentic and interesting?'
'You'll have three wonderful children, and you'll have the pleasure of rereading the books you reread, with them. You'll decide to leave your publishing job to be a freelance editor, but also, to write.'
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