Screenplays I didn't really care about, journalism, travel books, getting my writer friends to write about their dreams or something. I just determined to write the books I had to write.
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Even though I spent the first five years of my life in Nagasaki, going to Japan can be really difficult. Even if they know I've been brought up in the West, they still expect me to understand all the subtleties of their culture, and if I get it wrong, it matters much more than if a British person gets it wrong. I find it intimidating.
I work very regular hours, roughly 9 to 5:30. I think I have it much easier than a lot of parents. I just sit at home, I have a very flexible timetable, and I'm very fortunate in that I don't have money problems. I have lunch with my wife at home. I don't have to commute, so I have much more time with my family.
I'm always trying to make something that is impossible to film. Why would somebody just read a novel when they can see it on TV or in the cinema? I really have to think of the things fiction can do that film can't and play to the strengths of the novel. With a novel, you can get right inside somebody's head.