How does your approach to writing fiction and non-fiction vary?

I write non-fiction quicker and I write it on a computer. Fiction I write longhand and that helps make it clear that it comes from a slightly different part of the brain, I think. The other distinction is that with non-fiction I’m constantly editing as I go along and with fiction I don’t. If you engage the critical part of you it makes it much harder and actually you just need to get through a first draft.

Do you keep set hours?

No. Just try to get the writing done first in the morning. I don’t answer the phone or do my email; I don’t do anything until I’ve got the day’s writing done. I have a word count for every day: 500 for fiction, 1,000 for non-fiction and journalism is 1,500. That’s a level I can sustain.

If you don’t hit your word count, will you be in a bad mood?

I never fail to hit the target. Next stop: abyss. If I’ve missed the target one day, why ever again? I admit it’s not an entirely sane way of looking at it, but that’s how I feel.