John Banville: I think it begins as a kind of tension in space. There’s something out there and it’s waiting for the big bang, and I have to get that into my head. I have a composer friend in Ireland, and he beautifully said, “I have this scream in my head and I have to get it into the orchestra. I have to get it into the music.” But I wouldn’t be quite as dramatic as that. But I have this tension. I have this thing that has to be done. And the problem is, you see, once you’ve got the first paragraph down and you’ve got the tone, then the bloody book is written. All you have to do is fill it in then, which makes it really boring. I mean I’d like to be like one of those Japanese artists, you know, just go shoop! and it’s done. But no, it takes years.