I think that I've tried many times to get Cuba in my writings, especially Havana, which was once a great and fascinating city.
When I write, the first blank page, or any blank page, means nothing to me. What means something is a page that has been filled with words.
Writing for me, even what you call serious writing, is play.
It means that no matter what you write, be it a biography, an autobiography, a detective novel, or a conversation on the street, it all becomes fiction as soon as you write it down.
I know that many writers have had to write under censorship and yet produced good novels; for instance, Cervantes wrote Don Quixote under Catholic censorship.
I think all writing is done through memory
I don't much believe in the idea of characters. I write with words, that is all. Whether those words are put in the mouth of this or that character does not matter to me
A very wise author once said that a writer writes for himself, and then publishes for money. I write for myself and publish just for the reader
No, absolutely not, writing doesn't have to be like a jigsaw puzzle, it can be a very linear undertaking.
I live in London and I am a British subject, although I do write in Spanish, of course
Well, I write in exile because I cannot return to my country, so I have no choice but to see myself as an exiled writer.
I am the only British writer who writes in Spanish
I have one main reader, Miriam Gomez, my wife. She reads everything I write - I have not finished writing something and she is already reading it.
That is what I define as a novel: something that has a beginning, a middle and an end, with characters and a plot that sustain interest from the first sentence to the last. But that is not what I do at all.
You are just in the middle of a struggle with words which are really very stubborn things, with a blank page, with the damn thing that you use to write with, a pen or a typewriter, and you forget all about the reader when you are doing that
When I write, I enjoy myself so much that what is being written really needs no reader
But I do not have the reader in mind when I write. No true writer does that
What I do believe is that there is always a relationship between writing and reading, a constant interplay between the writer on the one hand and the reader on the other
American literature had always considered writing a very serious matter
I think that like all writers - and if any writer disagrees with this, then he is not a writer - I write primarily for myself
Titles are not only important, they are essential for me. I cannot write without a title
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