Author of the Month: David Layton

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Tell us about yourself.

This is the sort of alarming question that inevitably leads towards the false accounting of a resume. I’ll let others try to describe me, preferably when I’m out of earshot.

When did you realize you had a passion for writing?

I’m not sure I ever had one. When it comes to writing I follow Thomas Mann’s assertion that, “a writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.”

What pieces of writing/authors have had the greatest impact on you?

Two authors who had a huge impact on me were Henry Miller and Ferdinand Céline. It was my mother who gave me Tropic of Cancer, a book I recommend, and should be read by every fifteen-year-old boy. Céline’s Journey to the End of the Night and Death on the Installment Plan are astonishing pieces of writing.

How and when do you find time to write?

The trick is not to try and find the time, as if it’s something you need to go looking for, but rather to make time so that you are its master and creator.

What has been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a writer?

Believing in the words I just wrote in the above question.

How have you changed as a writer over the years?

For a young writer the linked attributes of arrogance and inexperience are absolutely imperative. The only thing age takes care of is the arrogance.