'I think I can put my voice down to the many disciplines I’ve studied, read, and written, the genres and practices I’ve worked in. I’m constantly drawing on a bank of inspiration from a wide pool, taking what I need and leaving behind what I don’t. '
Mark Blayney asks whether we should meet our literary heroes and recalls a pivotal childhood encounter that led to his becoming a writer.
Brian McCabe recalls the early influences that inspired him to become a writer and remembers the unconventional teacher who encouraged his first outing as a poet.
'The singer-songwriter Matt Johnson and his band The The has probably inspired my work the most; when I was reunited with Johnson's music I was amazed to hear how this inspiration is so prominent in my early work.'
'Writing a story is too solitary for me to stick at it for long. I want an audience, and collaborators. Give me a rehearsal room full of actors! Let's build a world together! '
'By the time I get to the boggy third quarter of writing a novel... I'm thoroughly sick of the 'guests'; they've become the couple that you rashly agreed to go on holiday with over a drunken dinner.'
According to Miranda Miller, Patrick Hamilton is ‘one of the great London writers’, whose novels offer a dark and troubling picture of the postwar years, reflecting, she suggests, the turbulent events of his own life.
'That's how it is with me; once you've subsumed your own tone to the great and the good, it's curtains for plot development and time to put the kettle on.'