Pre-Millennium Tension: interview, April 1997: Robert Clarke talks to WS about Tough Tough Toys For Tough Tough Boys:

“If critics have pointed to his apparent irreverence and lack of emotional engagement towards the act of writing, he is keen to suggest that ‘I am fairly mystical about the relationship with the text . . . a posture of humility in relation to your own muse is quite important, and my personal feelings I try to keep away from that.’ Unlike what he agrees has become the lifeblood of contemporary literary discourse: ‘Self-confession as I see it is a really decadent syndrome . . . a crisis of imagination and very depressing.’ While his work is ‘nakedly personal’, he opposes any literalist interpretation of his work, and is intent in distancing himself from the idea that fiction should be pandering to the essentially regressive or escapist tendencies of the book-reading public: ‘To think that would be insane. I might as well write Mills and Boon. Every text contains within itself the idea of an objective reading . . . those who think there is a subjective reader are full of shit. Just as I am trying to break down my resistance to writing books, so I suppose at the same time, I am trying to break down people’s resistance to reading them. Books aren’t life, they are just books.'”

Read the full interview