'‘Inspiration’ implies some sort of divine intervention: the gift of a capricious god. I’m open to persuasion, but this seems unlikely and quite vague. Am sure these gods are too busy to be following us around, waiting for a moment to get involved.'
'I would like... a cat without muddy paws, who definitely likes me, to sit at my feet and not on my notes. I would like gherkin sandwiches to arrive unannounced at lunchtime. I would like flakes of snow to be falling outside the picture window...'
'The particular freedom and concentration of that moment has never left me. An hour in which I felt ecstatically happy: peaceful, productive. You’d taught me, aged fifteen, that as writers we write our moments into being, that we draw on what’s around us.'