Your Some Blind Alleys fiction course aims to make people better readers before making them better writers. Do we live in a time when readers are failing writers?
No I don’t think so. We live in a time when publishers are failing readers and writers. But most importantly, they’re failing readers. There are plenty of exceptions of course. Independents like Granta Books and others, and a really interesting number of small independents in the States and elsewhere doing really good stuff. But publishing in general – the big houses that publish most of the fiction titles that we see in our bookshops – they don’t trust readers, they don’t care about writers or writing, they operate out of fear at the moment, and if they could they’d kill innovative literature dead and give us recycled safe-bets for the rest of time.