I think, increasingly, despite what we are being told is an ever more open world of communication, there is a terrible alienation in the ordinary man between what he is being told and what he secretly believes.
I don't know the literary world; I was scared of being confronted with famous names, not knowing what they had written. It was occupied territory I was entering.
Like every novelist, I fantasise about film. Novelists are not equipped to make a movie, in my opinion. They make their own movie when they write: they're casting, they're dressing the scene, they're working out where the energy of the scene is coming from, and they're also relying tremendously on the creative imagination of the reader.
Novelists are not equipped to make a movie, in my opinion. They make their own movie when they write: they're casting, they're dressing the scene, they're working out where the energy of the scene is coming from and they're also relying tremendously on the creative imagination of the reader.
It's necessary to understand what real intelligence work is. It will never cease. It's absolutely essential that we have it. At its best, it is simply the left arm of healthy governmental curiosity. It brings to a strong government what it needs to know. It's the collection of information, a journalistic job, if you will, but done in secret.
I was quite able at the insignificant work I did in MI6, but absolutely dysfunctional in my domestic life. I had no experience of fatherhood. I had no example of marital bliss or the family unit.
I wrote 'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold' at the age of 30 under intense, unshared personal stress and in extreme privacy. As an intelligence officer in the guise of a junior diplomat at the British Embassy in Bonn, I was a secret to my colleagues, and much of the time to myself.
SIS, the Secret Intelligence Service, also known as MI6, also has no executive powers and operates abroad on CIA lines, but with a tiny percentage of the budget and a tiny percentage of the personnel.
'The Spy Who Came in from the Cold' was the work of a wayward imagination brought to the end of its tether by political disgust and personal confusion.
It's part of a writer's profession, as it's part of a spy's profession, to prey on the community to which he's attached, to take away information - often in secret - and to translate that into intelligence for his masters, whether it's his readership or his spy masters. And I think that both professions are perhaps rather lonely.
Until we have a better relationship between private performance and the public truth, as was demonstrated with Watergate, we as the public are absolutely right to remain suspicious, contemptuous even, of the secrecy and the misinformation which is the digest of our news.
Most people like to read about intrigue and spies. I hope to provide a metaphor for the average reader's daily life. Most of us live in a slightly conspiratorial relationship with our employer and perhaps with our marriage.
If you're growing up in a chaotic world without reason, your instinct is to become a performer and control the circumstances around you. You lead from weakness into strength; you have an undefended back.