If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is why I drove there, and upset my partner, and abandoned my son to his carers, when the round trip was over 320 miles, but, to tell the truth, I'm not sure why I needed to do it. In the first place, that stuff is my life's blood, and in the second place, I figured no one would die if I disappeared for a day. Neither of them were particularly happy, and my partner was touchy as hell when I told him I needed his car. He wasn't able to raise too many objections, he is fair-minded and reasonable as a rule. Besides, I'm not writing a blow-by-blow account of the trip or anything. I'll just tell you that, in the interests of research, I have driven, or walked, or both, the length of the valley where my new novel is set. I mean, that's all I've told anyone here, but they have heard it all before, not for no reason is the first novel called Near Edgware. I drive there once every couple of weeks, just to make sure it hasn't moved or anything and I can spot a neatly trimmed hedgerow from twenty paces as I drive past Harrow Weald Common. Now I can't say I'm that much of an expert on the Golden Valley, but who needs to be when they are planning on moving any key features they need from one side of the border to the other anyway.
I find it difficult to write the long Salinger-sentences. I've spent months trying to take Ernest Hemingway's advice on making all writing short and lean to create the powerful dynamics.
Back to the drawing board?