My wife is the most savage critic. She doesn't feel intimidated by my reputation. As far as she's concerned, she's just criticising a boyfriend who'd recently had a go at fiction. She can tell me to abandon whole novels.
I'm not at all interested in the brave who fight against the odds and win. I am interested in those who accept their lot, as that is what many people in the world are doing. They do their best in ghastly conditions.
What interests me is the surprising enormous extent to which most people accept the fate that's been given to them, and find some dignity.
I wouldn't want to try to adapt something of my own. It would be like going back to school and doing all my exams again.
Many of our deepest motives come, not from an adult logic of how things work in the world, but out of something that is frozen from childhood.
I've always had a great fondness for English detective fiction such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers.
I spent ages figuring out things like viewpoint, how you tell the story, and so on.
I discovered that my imagination came alive when I moved away from the immediate world around me.
There's a practical problem about time and energy, and a more subtle problem of what it does to a writer's head, to continually analyze why they write, where it all comes from, where it's going to.
Our family arrived in England in 1960. At that time I thought the war was ancient history. But if I think of 15 years ago from now, that's 1990, and that seems like yesterday to me.
I had been plunged into a different world. I found myself spending half my time answering weird questions on book tours in the Midwest. People would stand up and explain to me the situation in their office and ask me whether they should resign or not.
I like the fact that by mimicking the way memory works, a writer can actually write in a fluid way - one solid scene doesn't have to fall on another solid scene, you can just have a fragment that then dovetails into another one that took place 30 years apart from it.
I think I had actually served my apprenticeship as a writer of fiction by writing all those songs. I had already been through phases of autobiographical or experimental stuff.
The world is crawling with authors touring now. They're like performance artists.