I haven’t been part of the criminal world.
– Steve Toltz
I made some probably very cringe-worthy short films that shall hopefully never make the light of day.
I enjoy being influenced by other writers.
If I knew a story page by page before I started writing it, I just wouldn’t do it. The process of discovery is really important for my own enjoyment.
I’m not sure if I always wanted to be a writer, but I was always writing.
I can’t sit through dinner with somebody I don’t like.
There is something so arbitrary about prizes.
Raymond Chandler I love a lot, and the Austrian writer Thomas Bernhard. I really love his voice.
I know you’re supposed to hide your influences, but I suppose I see writing as riffing, really, about whatever you have been reading or thinking about that day or that week.
I don’t have a great respect for reality or getting the ‘facts’ as a means of putting together a story.
I actually went into writing first to supplement my income, which was a strange thing to do, and actually failed.
People always say, ‘Write what you know’, but I’ve always found that to be terrible advice. It’s quite limiting, what you know.
Optimism isn’t funny unless you are laughing at the person, whereas extreme pessimism is extremely funny. It’s exaggeration.
I think as you get older, there are things that there’s just no light side to, but you know, I guess the more you empathise with people, the more empathy you have, the less you are able to see the lighter side.
If I’ve written five pages by hand, out of those five pages, one page might be worth saving. The rest is crap. I have to throw it away. It’s like I need eight hours to do two hours’ work.
There’s only one common element that united every writer I’ve admired… they’re all incredibly well-read.
When people come up to me and say, ‘I read your book,’ I’m thinking, ‘How dare you! Who gave you a copy?’
I am influenced by books which don’t have their eye on the endgame, but which try to be entertaining on each and every page.
I don’t really have an office or anything, and I like to have to move location every two hours. So I just kind of write in a park, on a bench, in the library, in a cafe, back to the library, that kind of thing.