Why the hell do I feel compelled to write novels anyway? I’ve always loved reading, but that hardly answers the question, and I’ve wanted to write for almost as long as I knew books existed. There are times, but rarely, when I read a novel that contributes to making life worth living. I finish reading and go back to the beginning again, dwelling on the characters, the setting, the poetry of the writing itself still echoing in my mind. Those times the imagination is lit up and the world seems richer, more expansive and at the same time more intimate. Novels such as John Williams' Stoner, Marilynne Robinson’s Home, and most recently Philip Larkin’s extraordinary novel, A Girl in Winter are food for the heart and soul, as well as the mind.
To aspire to write something of such quality seems entirely worthwhile. I have no delusions, and I know I’m nowhere near yet, but we all improve with the hours we put in. I’m in for the long haul, and perhaps, in part, this is what drives me to keep on working.