Why do you write?
I write to understand the world, and also to find out what I think. When I look at something very closely (whatever it is: fruit bats or space travel or a particular situation), it seems to expand; to contain allusive meanings I wouldn’t see if I weren’t writing about it. My books are also about honouring otherwise forgotten people whom I find extraordinary.
Are you a vivid dreamer?
Not particularly, sadly. Mostly very obvious dreams. Freud would be bored. When I am writing, which is most of the time, I spend a lot of time muddling around in my mind. Maybe there’s not much of interest left over when I’m asleep.