My friend Tony Ballantyne has been asking writers to describe their writing process, posting the results on his website every month. Here is what I wrote for him.
If you haven’t encountered Tony’s work, I recommend it. He is one of the cleverest people I know, in fact quite possibly the cleverest. (I won’t embarass him by saying that, by the way: he doesn’t really do that kind of humility.) Annoyingly, apart from being a talented and productive writer, having a degree in maths, and being a deputy head of a secondary school, he also plays several musical instruments and is a member of a brass band. His novels are unlike anything I’ve ever encountered. However there is something about his particular vision, dark, witty, humane, and occasionally tinged with a rather scary version of Christian theology (the latter particularly apparent in Recursion), that occasionally reminds me of Philip K. Dick.
His latest novel is Dream Paris -full of strange Ballantynian angles on the French revolution and politics in general- but you’d probably do better to read Dream London first.