A film is - or should be - more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what's behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later.
Science fiction is trying to find alternative ways of looking at realities.
In Ireland, novels and plays still have a strange force. The writing of fiction and the creation of theatrical images can affect life there more powerfully and stealthily than speeches, or even legislation. Imagined worlds can lodge deeply in the private sphere, dislodging much else, especially when the public sphere is fragile.
I grew up poor in crappy situations... various crappy situations. What kept me sane was reading and music. I had so many different literary tastes growing up, be it fiction like Stephen King or Piers Anthony or non-fiction like reading Hunter S. Thompson essays or reading the Beats. I was a huge fan of the Beat movement.
Character development is what I value most as a reader of fiction. If an author can manage to create the sort of characters who feel fully real, who I find myself worrying about while I'm walking through the grocery store aisles a week later, that to me is as close to perfection as it gets.
There are still some terrible cliches in the presentation of Indian fiction. The lotus flower. The hennaed hands. In mainland Europe, people still slap these images on my books and I go bananas.
Children, I mean, think of your own childhood, how important the bedtime story was. How important these imaginary experiences were for you. They helped shape reality, and I think human beings wouldn't be human without narrative fiction.
We never had books at home, but my dad, seeing how keen I was to read, took me to Islington Library when I was about eight and we pulled out two - a Biggles and a science fiction novel. I never got the ace fighter pilot but fell in love with all things to do with the future and space. Isaac Asimov soon became my guiding star.
Inspiration comes from so many sources. Music, other fiction, the non-fiction I read, TV shows, films, news reports, people I know, stories I hear, misheard words or lyrics, dreams... Motivation? The memory of the rush I get from a really good writing session - even on a bad day, I know I'll find that again if I keep going.
When I was growing up, the exam system didn't allow you to write fiction, so you never did.