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Kate Atkinson quotes
I'm a lapsed Quaker. I don't go to meetings any more. But I'm very drawn to Catholicism - all that glitter. I'd love to be a Catholic. I think it would be fantastic - faith, forgiveness, absolution, extreme unction - all these wonderful words. I don't think anyone who was ever born a Catholic hasn't died a Catholic, no matter how lapsed they are.
I don't have goals when writing books, apart from getting to the end. I have rather vague ideas about how I want things to feel, I'm big on ambience. I have a title, a beginning and a probable ending and go from there.
Everyone said, 'Well, you're very old for a first novel,' and I said, 'How do you write when you haven't lived? How do you write when you have no experience? How do you write straight out of university?'
Fairy tales opened up a door into my imagination - they don't conform to the reality that's around you as a child. I started reading when I was three and read everything, but I wanted to be an actress.
I was an only child and grew up in York where my parents ran a surgical supplies shop. When I say I wish I had brothers and sisters, friends say it's not what it's cracked up to be, but I think it must be good to have someone who knew you from the beginning.
Life is a very orderly thing, but in fiction there is a huge liberation and freedom. I can do what I like. There's nothing that says I can't write a page of full stops. There is no 'should' involved, although you wouldn't know that from literary reviews and critics.
My father was an autodidact. It wasn't a middle-class house. Shopkeepers are aspirant. He paid for me to go to private school. He was denied an education - he had a horrible childhood. He got a place at a grammar school and wasn't allowed to go.
The legacy of the fairy story in my brain is that everything will work out. In fiction it would be very hard for me, as a writer, to give a bad ending to a good character, or give a good ending to a bad character. That's probably not a very postmodern thing to say.
I think about death a lot, I really do, because I can't believe I won't exist. It's the ego isn't it? I feel that I should retreat into a better form of Zen Buddhism than this kind of ego-dominated thing. But I don't know, I mean, I want to come back as a tree but I suspect that it's just not going to happen, is it?