Do you have a process for writing or does it depend on the project? I find that keeping a healthy lifestyle works for me. If I am in writing mode, I exercise around the house a lot; I take long walks; I jog regularly... It is during these walks that decent sentences take shape, problems with the plot are solved and new ideas germinate.
I also tend to eat better, and I categorically abstain from alcohol. Even half a beer is proven to dull or misguide my inspiration, when it does not silence the voice altogether for a day or so.
The result of this regimen is a very physical sensation: I become hyperactive, feeling very excited, on top of the world. But, at the same time, my brain is buzzing too: it voraciously craves to be fed big volumes of information; it works at double speed, and it is finally able to write.
What’s the one invention that you thought would have been invented by now? I feel that science is so advanced now that specialists do a far better job than the common man at imagining new horizons. Only last month, German researchers achieved negative temperature (below absolute zero); an international team of astronomers have found a Large Quasar Group, four billion light-years across, that defies our current understanding of the universe; people at MIT found a new type of magnetism, and so on...
I cannot even begin to imagine what inventions these new discoveries will open the door to. A non-specialist like me is only able to dream of mundane things to fight his immediate fears – like repairing a broken spinal chord, or curing some well-publicised disease.
I am more amazed by the many things that have actually been discovered or invented, than by the very few Dr. Who-ish gadgets I can think of and that have not yet been made real.
A piece of advice your sixteen year-old self would give you. A lot of people seem to think that there is some secret that Youth holds and that we have all forgotten. It is some sort of ongoing middle-life crisis.
I know for sure that my sixteen-year-old self did not have that much to say to a person twice his age. But he would be very curious about his future – as his thirty-year-old self still is about his own.
What’s next? I am looking for a job here in Paris.
Links/projects My flash story, 'The Courtyard', will appear in issue 179 of AntipodeanSF, online in May this year. There should also be an audio version.