Life is not a dress rehearsal.
In the planning stage of a book, don't plan the ending. It has to be earned by all that will go before it.
I'm not very interested in charting a day-to-day familiar reality. I'm always looking for territory in which to explore the BIG subjects, the life-or-death stories.
Life should be embraced like a lover.
So history is fertile territory for me and I think I could feel happy with any period of history, provided I had the right sources and the necessary time for the initial research.
The unfolding of a story is both as exciting and as difficult for each and every novel I've written, regardless of time and place.
I can inhabit any character in a way that is difficult to do successfully in a contemporary novel.
Perhaps, all writers walk such a line. In general - as we all do in our dreams - I believe I put something of myself into all the characters in my novels, male as well as female.
When you've finished a piece of work you've had a kind of love affair with it.
Perhaps, more importantly, I think that most human beings realise only a fraction of the true potential of their minds, so the spiritual or mystical, the things which remain mysterious or unexplained have always drawn me to include them in any scheme for a novel.
A novel usually takes me two years. A year to research and plan and dream. Then a year to write.
I'm always amazed by writers who tell me they plan everything at the beginning. I feel their writing days must be very bland.