Harris has just turned 50, a tall man with an easy, thoughtful manner and no delusions of celebrity. His children tell him with fearsome logic that he cannot be middle-aged because he won't live to be 100. His epiphany about novel-writing came one wet Monday in October when writing Pompeii was like breaking rocks, yet he knew he'd far rather be grappling with the Roman water supply system or vulcanology than writing a 1,000-word newspaper column.
"There is nothing like the ecstasy of relief when a book is finished," he says. "I go slightly mad; buy things. I tell Gill I'm going out to buy a book and I come back with a car."
Monday, April 23, 2007
In The Telegraph, Elizabeth Grice talks to novelist Robert Harris.