"I thought my policeman would probably go there," says Thomson. "So I drove there one day between Christmas and New Year, just as Billy does. At some point on the journey I stopped being me and became Billy Tyler and for the next four hours I was feeling everything he would have felt. I found myself looking over my shoulder all the time to see my car because I had this strong sense of panic that I wouldn't find my way back to it. Writing is often like acting without an audience and you have to become the person you're writing about, otherwise it's not going to ring true. It was a very spooky afternoon."
And in the second, he speaks of his writing more generally:
"I often have a Diane Arbus quote in my head while I write. She said: 'My favourite thing is to go where I haven't been'. That's what I want from every book."
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