20 writerly questions for Sir Andrew Motion

Andrew Motion is the author of three biographies and a number of books of poetry. In 1999 he was appointed Poet Laureate of Great Britain, and he is currently Professor of Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia. Motion serves as head of the Literature Panel of the Arts Council and frequently broadcasts on the BBC. His newest novel is Silver.

20 writerly questions for Sir Andrew Motion

1. How would you summarize your book in one sentence?
An adventure story, a love story: serious fun

2. How long did it take you to write this book?
All my life.

3. Where is your favourite place to write?
The only place I write is at home at my desk

4. How do you choose your characters’ names?
They chose themselves

5. How many drafts do you go through?
Somewhere between 25 and 30

6. If there was one book you wish you had written what would it be?
Great Expectations

7. If your book were to become a movie, who would you like to see star in it?
My son Lucas

8. What’s your favourite city in the world?

9. If you could talk to any writer living or dead who would it be, and what would you ask?
Keats. What are you going to write next?

10. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, what kind?
Absolutely not.

11. Who is the first person who gets to read your manuscript?
My wife, swiftly followed by my friend Alan Hollinghurst.

12. Do you have a “guilty pleasure” read?

13. What’s on your nightstand right now?
My what? We don’t have them in England.

14. What is the first book you remember reading?
The Wind in the Willows.

15. Did you always want to be a writer?

16. What do you drink or eat while you write?
Peppermint tea.

17. Typewriter, laptop, or pen & paper?
Pen and paper, then the beloved Apple.

18. What did you do immediately after hearing that you were being published for the very first time?
Bought a picture

19. How do you decide which narrative point of view to write from?
Voices in my head tell me

20. What is the best gift someone could give a writer?
Time and quiet.

More information on Silver