You're getting everyone's point of view at the same time, which, for me, is the perfect state for a novel a cubist state, the cubist novel.
You don't want to write your own opinion, you don't want to just represent yourself, but represent yourself through someone else.
When you're writing, it's as if you're within a kind of closed world.
Truth, at the wrong time, can be dangerous.
To write about someone like myself would be very limiting.
The past is still, for us, a place that is not safely settled.
The first sentence of every novel should be Trust me, this will take time but there is order here, very faint, very human. Meander if you want to get to town.
That's Anil's path. She grows up in Sri Lanka, goes and gets educated abroad, and through fate or chance gets brought back by the Human Rights Commission to investigate war crimes.
Right now, I have no idea what I will write or if I will write again.
Research can be a big clunker. It's difficult to know how you can make the historical light.
Once I've discovered the story, I might restructure it, maybe move things around, set up a clue that something is going to happen later, but that happens much later in an editorial capacity.
It's why you create characters so you can argue with yourself.
It's an odd state to be in, blowing the whistle on your home country.
It's a responsibility of the writer to get the reader out of the story somehow.
It doubles your perception, to write from the point of view of someone you're not.
In the book the relationship with Katharine and Almasy is sort of only in the patient's mind.
I'm a Canadian citizen. But I always want to feel at home in Sri Lanka. I'm a member of both countries.
I tend not to know what the plot is or the story is or even the theme. Those things come later, for me.
I see the poem or the novel ending with an open door.
I don't see novels ending with any real sense of closure.
I don't have a plan for a story when I sit down to write. I would get quite bored carrying it out.
As a writer, one is busy with archaeology.
A writer uses a pen instead of a scalpel or blow torch.
The last three books are much more a case of a moment of history, what happened almost by accident or coincidence, like being in the same elevator or lifeboat.
It's a discovery of a story when I write a book, a case of inching ahead on each page and discovering what's beyond in the darkness, beyond where you're writing.