As a British writer raised in Malvern, a move to London might have been the most predictable step for him at the outset of his career, but neither Mitchell nor his fictional worlds have been rooted in the capital, or any one metropolis. Nor has he attempted to write the kind of state of the nation novel that, he wryly suggests, barely conceals the narrow preoccupations of the urban middle-classes.
…The paradox in all careers is that without success, you couldn't do it, but success itself is not very good for creativity…If you write truthfully about human life, by which I mean the human heart and how it interacts with the world, you don't have to strive for contemporary relevance…
I want to do this until I die. (Readers) enables me to continue to do what I love. Prizes won't do that for you.
On March 13, 2007, I handed over the keys to my house, put my possessions in storage and headed out to travel around the world with nothing but a backpack, my laptop and a camera.
Three and a half years and 70 countries later, I've gotten the equivalent of a Ph.D in general knowledge about the people and places of Planet Earth.
Here are some of the things I've learned