Sometimes people ask, does writing make you happy? But I think that’s beside the point. It makes you agitated, and continually in a state where you’re off balance. You seldom feel serene or settled. You’re like the person in the fairy tale The Red Shoes: you’ve just got to dance and dance, you’re never in equilibrium. I don’t think writing makes you happy… I think it makes for a life that by its very nature has to be unstable, and if it ever became stable, you’d be finished.
Hilary Mantel, with whom I would very much like to talk shop as we sip tea and enjoy biscuits with gooseberry jam