Life being the way it is, I went up to Glendale Community College to talk to Claire Phillips’s class about writing in general and my novel The Miranda in particular. This is Claire Philips.
As you might expect, my novel contains a significant amount of walking, and also of keeping track of the numbers – miles per day, numbers of circuits completed, that kind of thing. You'll just have to read it.
But here’s the curious part – in the Q and A Claire said she saw some parallels between my writing and that of Graham Greene, which, leaving aside the flattery, surprised the heck out of me.
I’ve read plenty of Graham Greene in my life – it was what English people of my generation did - and although I liked his books well enough, I was never the greatest fan, and I definitely would never thought I was influenced by him.
I think the jury’s probably still out on that, however as a result, I decided to read Our Man In Havana – one of those books I’d never read but knew a certain amount about – whisky miniatures and vacuum cleaners, a central character named Wormold. Anyway, I’ve read it now (isn’t the daughter just appalling?). But perhaps the most surprising thing of all comes on the very first page, in the second paragraph: