April 2008

Writing is like Riding a Bicycle

Writing is like riding a bicycle. You never forget how. Over the years you learn how to do skids and wheelies and jump wild distances. But how long will an audience be interested in a trick cyclist?

I write for readers and that’s because I’ve always been obsessive about reading. In my slothful teenage years, I could get through three novels a day: Rosamund Lehman, Ian Fleming or Dostoevsky.

I had my first novel published when I was twenty seven. Eighteen novels later, I’m still creating new faces, new voices. I have to impersonate each one – even the killers.

Maybe writing is more like being an actor than riding a bicycle. Or maybe it’s like an actor riding a bicycle with a pen in her hand and her head in the clouds.