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'What I really wanted was to be a novelist'

8 February 2015

‘When I wrote Before I go to Sleep, I was in a blissful state of being disconnected from anybody else - I wrote It with the hope I could finish it, first of all, and then with the hope that somebody else might like it. But I was writing Second Life knowing that I had editors all over the world that were eager for it. There was a sense of pressure in getting it right. But ultimately I realised I had to just write a book that I loved.

Always what I really wanted was to be a novelist and create fiction... I was approaching 40, and I thought, towards the end of my life, I'd much rather be looking back and thinking, I had a really good go at writing a novel and it didn't work, than look back on my life and think, well, I never really tried, did I?'

S J Watson, author of Before I go to Sleep and Second Life, in the Observer.