I have a tremendous battle with melancholy and depression.
Life can be lived at a remove. You trade in futures, and then you trade in derivatives of futures. Banks make more money trading derivatives than they do trading actual commodities.
If I hadn't read all of Jane Austen and DH Lawrence, Tolstoy and Proust, as well as the more fun stuff, I wouldn't know how to break bad news, how to sympathise, how to be a friend or a lover, because I wouldn't have any idea what was going on in anybody else's mind.
It's possible there are no two books in publishing history more dissimilar than 'Human Traces' and 'Devil May Care.' And that was really the attraction of it.
As far as 'Birdsong' is concerned, I think the television program made a very honorable attempt at it, but the truth of the matter is that adaptations of long, ambitious books very seldom transfer well to the screen, and why would they?
I want to write about serious things, but I want to write about them in a way that makes them accessible to a large number of people - to take them through the argument by dramatizing the circumstances in which these issues are being discussed.
I don't do interviews at home any more because my wife doesn't like having her taste in interiors put through the mill. And I get annoyed when journalists make snide remarks about the annoyingly pretentious shops in the neighbourhood - because I hate them just as much.
If you have only one life, you can't altogether ignore the question: are you enjoying it?