I think about everything first. I think about the scenario: the story and the characters, what I'm trying to say and I'll think about that for a couple of days until it's all locked in and then when I get to an instrument it'll just fall out. But the song's kind of all ready there in my head.
I had a fear of becoming anything, a fear of becoming a specialist. I might have become a doctor, but if you become a doctor, that's your specialty in life and you are defined by it. One of the attractions of being a writer is that you're never a specialist. Your field is entirely open; your field is the entire human condition.
The idea of stopping is not unmeaningful to me. I think there might be a time when, in theory at least, you'd say, 'Well I've mostly done what I want to do.' But how could you ever prevent a few years down the line some germ of an idea getting at you and you've got to do it again?
There's no such thing as the contemporary novel. Before I seem the complete reactionary, let me add that I've happily joined in many discussions about 'the contemporary novel' where what that usually, unproblematically means is novels that have appeared recently or may appear soon.