2 September 1969
Bristol, United Kingdom
|Occupation||Novelist, crime writer and television scriptwriter|
'Luther' is absolutely a monster-of-the-week show. Although it's post-watershed and is rendered in intense graphic novel-style images, it's inspiration is not that different from 'Doctor Who' as in both cases you've got a trickster figure who fights the monster of the week and is eventually successful.
I am very interested in theology. In fact, my first degree was in theology, so it's something that interests me greatly.
I love to see heroes who fuel some kind of moral furnace inside them, who are driven to take on the evils of the world, despite the fact that the evils of the world are more powerful than them. And essentially can never be defeated, but they refuse to bow down. And in order to enjoy that aspect of the hero, you've got to put them through hell.
The fictional character with whom I most profoundly identified was Yossarian in Catch-22. Always did, still do.
I'd always read omnivorously and often thought much literary fiction is read by young men and women in their 20s as substitutes for experience.
What I love about Indiana Jones is he always bites off slightly more than he can chew. The guy he's fighting is always slightly tougher than he is, but he just refuses to give up. And that's what makes Indiana Jones a hero: not his superpowers, but his refusal to be beaten.
I wrote 'Mr. In-Between' very quickly when I was about 23. I wrote the penultimate chapter, then realised I'd done something which was written to the best of my abilities. I panicked. I hesitated to finish the final chapter and went into withdrawal for three years. I decided to pick it up again after I went drinking with author Tim Binding.
I love ghost stories, and I also have a great fondness and love for 'Quatermass,' which in many ways is the show that preceded 'Doctor Who.' 'Doctor Who' borrowed quite a bit from 'Quatermass' and probably wouldn't have existed in anything like the form we recognise today if 'Quatermass' hadn't come before it.
Writing a novel is an intense and lonely business, but you have the reward at the end of a very direct dialogue between you and the reader.
To kind of go through life not caring is a spectacular attribute. It's one I wish I had.
People often express surprise that I'm not a psychopath. But it's not about what I want to do to other people, it's that I'm scared of what other people might do to me.
I don't get on with novelists, don't enjoy their company. Once you've worked for a publisher, you understand the species, see them in their natural habitat, and it's not always pretty.
I was writing novels at eight. It was a science fiction epic, which went by the unimprovable title of 'Another Kind of Warrior.' I'd write it beginning to end, but when I'd finished it, I was another year older. The quality of writing and thought changed radically, so I'd start it again. I re-wrote that same book until I was 16.
I had a complicated life until I was 25. I was born in Bristol and was brought up by my mum and my stepfather in Edinburgh. He introduced me to books.
The thematic bucket of vomit that I've been chained to since I was about 9 is the moral complexity of anti-heroism. I have always been interested in good people who do bad things for understandable reasons.
It's perceived as an accolade to be published as a 'literary' writer, but, actually, it's pompous and it's fake. Literary fiction is often nothing more than a genre in itself.