If a novelist tells you something she knows or thinks, and you believe her, that is not because either of you think she is God, but because she is doing her work - as a novelist.
I hated being a novelist when I was 20 - I had nothing to write about.
Reading a newspaper is like reading someone's letters, as opposed to a biography or a history. The writer really does not know what will happen. A novelist needs to feel what that is like.
I am not an academic who happens to have written a novel. I am a novelist who happens to be quite good academically.
You learn different things through fiction. Historians are always making a plot about how certain things came to happen. Whereas a novelist looks at tiny little things and builds up a sort of map, like a painting, so that you see the shapes of things.
The thing I love about being a novelist is that with each project, you invent a new world. You approach it with a different set of aesthetic and structural ideas, and you grapple with a different series of problems in figuring out how to tell the story. And yet there are certain concerns that stay constant.
If you're a novelist, as I am in real life, you're usually so desperate for any kind of feedback.
I love the idea of trying to do the work of old-fashioned novelists of plotting and of really making you curious about what's going to happen next and all that, but also trying to load it up with your weird thoughts and opinions.
Former Dublin newsman Paul Lynch made his debut as a novelist a few years ago with a book called 'Red Sky in Morning,' set in mid-19th century County Donegal, where a rage-driven farmer has committed a murder with devastating results.
We want a world with both historians and novelists, don't we? Not with one or the other. Every fiction writer crosses the line that divides artistry and documentation - or erases it.