I’m still popping up in a few places to promote The Loosening Skin, and over the past few days I’ve been very happy to answer questions for the excellent websites Nerds of a Feather and Horror Tree. Here’s a bit from both:
What book are you currently reading?
I’m nearing the end of Emmanuel Carrère’s biography of Philip K. Dick. It’s called I Am Alive and You Are Dead, and at times it’s really playful with style, throwing in questions and puzzles, breaking up sections at odd points to ruminate on inspiration and religion. The author often sinks himself into what he imagines Dick would have felt as he wrote his novels, which makes me feel both intrigued and uncomfortable. How could you possibly have come up with that? I find myself asking of both the biographer and the subject – and: Who’s in control here? Both of which strike me as very pertinent questions to be asking when it comes to the life of Philip K. Dick.
“I’m a bit obsessed with these small words that can mean so many things,” Whiteley says. “Love. Change. Fear. Time. And Weird! I think I know what they mean to me, but I’ve got no way of communicating that perfectly, so there’s always some doubt remaining. For instance, when people say, ‘We’re in love,’ does it matter if that love is not the same between them? That element of doubt, of wondering how to be sure of what I feel or what others feel, is also a driving force. So, I could say that all my novels are really about the difficulty of achieving real communication.”