‘I used to be quite fetishistic’: Sebastian Faulks on the writing process

The British novelist, known for his historical novels set in France, talks distilling ideas and stepping into the world of Bond

Sebastian Faulks: ‘Part of being a writer is you’re a hermit for three years, writing in your cave, and then you have to stand up like a variety performer. It’s completely absurd. It’s all a nonsense, but you have to do it’

When I left university I straight away wrote a novel, which was really terrible. I had wanted to be a writer since I was about 14 or 15, but it was really surprisingly bad. And then I thought, well I better get a job because this isn’t going to pay the rent. So I got a job working as a teacher and then I would write in my spare time in the evenings, weekends and ...