Before I started to write novels, short stories seemed to be the right way to practice. If you can’t do that, then what’s the point? So I wrote a few. The fat woman in the front seat of the bus that I felt sorry for; the hidden mansion in the woods with a garden full of imagination; the magic carpet flier guiding himself over cliffs and towns; jumping off the cliff but learning to fly; being chased by an unrecognizable entity; and so on and so on… loads of them with some subtle resemblance to my life. The fact is that going beyond three or five paragraphs is not easy. In fact, it’s hard to deliver a whole story when all you have in your fantasy brain is a paragraph of nonsense. Short stories are for poets who have no middle or end and rely on rhetoric to instill some kind of emotional response – not I. Give me a story to tell, and the space to tell it.