WHY DO YOU WRITE?
I always felt I had urgent news to deliver. I wanted to do that more than anything else.
ARE YOU A VIVID DREAMER?
There used to be symbolic and serial dreams. Now they are still interesting.
WHERE ARE YOU HAPPIEST?
Thinking by myself. Talking with a congenial person.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE MUSIC?
I was recently swept away by Wagner's Ring and, luckily, saw it twice. But I always liked old-style rock and roll.
AND YOUR FAVOURITE BOOK?
Well, the Russians.
AND YOUR FAVOURITE LITERARY HERO OR HEROINE?
NAME AN EARLY LITERARY IDOL OR INFLUENCE WHOM YOU NO LONGER ADMIRE – OR VICE VERSA.
I never turned against a writer I once admired, but remained possessed and possessive. My tribe.
NAME THE THREE PEOPLE YOU WOULD MOST LIKE TO DINE WITH.
Anton Chekhov, Thomas Mann, and Flannery O'Connor.
WHAT IF ANYTHING IMPEDES YOUR WRITING?
At different times different forces, sometimes not even a world war.
HOW DO YOU REGARD PUBLISHERS?
I was published by UK and Australian firms, and worked for one, and never thought about publishing. Now I regard Text with great admiration and enthusiasm.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE STATE OF CRITICISM?
It depends on the critic. I have my favourites, whose style I admire – naming no names.
IF YOU HAD YOUR TIME OVER AGAIN, WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO BE A WRITER?
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WRITERS' FESTIVALS?
Intimidating. They serve a very good purpose and I certainly have friends who wouldn't miss one for the world.
DO YOU FEEL ARTISTS ARE VALUED IN OUR SOCIETY?
Very much more than they were in a past I can remember. They have an established place now and take it for granted.
WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON NOW?
The engine is idling, ready to go.