I never felt totally, 100%, patriotically English… I’d seen a lot of the world by an early age – sort of spent a lot of time traveling around Lebanon and I’d seen Babylon, and Damascus, and all sorts of places in the Middle East by the time I was ten. Then we’d return to Ruslip in West London… Done a fair bit of traveling really.
One already feels like an anachronism, writing novels in the age of what-ever-this-is-the-age-of, but touring to promote them feels doubly anachronistic. The marketplace is showing an increasing intolerance for the time-honored practice of printing information on paper and shipping it around the country.
I think that everyone at any age should ask themselves, ‘where do I want to be today, where do I want to be tomorrow, and where do I want to be in a hundred years?’ We all have clear answers to those questions. We only have so much time. It’s a real shame if we don’t spend our lives trying to do that.
Almost all of your life is lived by the seat of your pants, one unexpected event crashing into another, with no pattern or reason, and then you finally reach a point, around my age, where you spend more time than ever looking back. Why did this happen? Look where that led? You see the shape of things.
I’m never overawed by a situation and I think that’s because I’ve always looked several years older than I am. So because people were treating me like I was 40 when I was 29, I’ve always felt in control of a situation. People used to say, when you’re 32, you’ll look 32. I’m still waiting for that moment, where my age catches up with my appearance.