Q: Charlie Chaplin’s Wishbone and Other Stories (The Lilliput Press) is your first new collection in a long time – how long have you been working on it?
There’s one story in the suite that was written not only in the last century, but in the last millennium. Serving one’s sentences is a life-term.
Q: As well as a short story writer you are also a poet, playwright and novelist. In what form do you feel most at ease working? How do they compliment each other?
The sex of the child is always a mystery until the moment of writing. After conception, it never doubts its gender.
Q: Who are the short story writers that you admire and why?
I like stories more than story-tellers, but I have a strong weakness for the first short-fiction writers I encountered in my teens, particularly Maupassant and Babel. The smell of those Penguin paperbacks still comforts me, like the body-odour of babies.