The phone call came midway through cooking dinner. A phone interview with the Corriere del Veneto. A proper, major Italian newspaper.

A pan of bechamel sauce was simmering gently on the hob. Michael Moorcock was declaiming, somewhat less gently, on the stereo as Hawkwind’s space-rock classic “Warrior on the Edge of Time” played in the background.

I’d like to say that the interview was down to my literary brilliance, but the credit actually lies with my lovely friend Barbara who set it all up for me. I’d been hoping for days that someone would call and when they did…

…well, let’s just say it went about as well as might be expected. I scurried around, phone tucked under my chin, babbling away in imperfect Italian as I stirred my sauce with one hand and tried to switch the music off with the other.

In the end a decision had to be made, and I chose to save dinner. I’ve yet to hear the final interview but I fear my best efforts to explain the inspiration for the novel will be interrupted by the sounds of Michael Moorcock shrieking “WE ARE THE LAST! WE ARE THE LOST! WE ARE THE BETRAYED!!!”

I’ll let you know…

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