Every once in a while, I treat myself to a copy of the Sunday Financial Times: It often devotes several pages to book reviews and its author interviews are lively and entertaining. In the latest issue (June 7/June 8 2014) there’s a profile of an author named Tom Rachman, who has a new novel out called, The Rise and Fall of Great Powers and who also wrote a bestselling novel with a great title: The Imperfectionists. Something about this profile intrigued me, so I’m sharing some of the Q&As here. In a few short sentences, they give us a glimpse into a writer’s work life, which is always instructive:
What is your daily writing routine?
It starts with my morning commute: from bedroom to study. To wake fully, I read, then I write or revise until midday, go out for exercise, eat something that won’t induce a food coma, and resume work until evening. The less internet, the more writing.
Where do you write best?
I sometimes rent flats overseas, choosing a place where I know nobody. I’m most
productive when away and isolated.
Who are your literary influences?
They include Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Graham Greene, Bruce Chatwin.
When do you feel most free?
When striding through the countryside or jogging in a beautiful foreign city.
How do you relax?
By day, with exercise. By night, with a glass of wine.
What is the best piece of advice a parent gave you?
Pursue what interests you, not money or a career.
What does it mean to be a writer?
To take what is uniquely yours and make it anyone’s; to toil free from interference
yet dependent on approval; to start from the imaginary and end with the truthful.
Love that last answer! These are fun questions to ask yourself. Write on!