I did a little eight-question interview with the CBC’s CanadaWrites program. Here’s a few of ‘em:
6. Sharon Butala asks, “What do you think of the age-old notion that the best writing comes out of a life led outside the bourgeoisie, where so-called “rules” of normal middle-class life are deliberately broken and impulse is your guide, rather than duty or convention?”
Sounds self-indulgent to me. I’ve done great writing while working a bourgeois day job, while working a bohemian day job, while working no day job. I’ve also written bad stuff in all those contexts. The best writing comes from practice, discipline, insight and talent (in that order).
7. Lynn Coady asks, “Is there a poet, philosopher, musician, painter or any other type of artist outside the world of fiction who has inspired your work in a concrete way at some point or another? If so, who?”
Musicians especially—in totally irrational, impossible-to-describe ways. There’s just some music that puts me somewhere else. It’s like the best part of taking drugs. Some of those musicians are David Byrne, Tom Waits and Leo Kottke (there are others).