Well, I like realistic fiction, usually, so that's what I try to write. Right now, though, I'm working on a spy fiction novel. It'll be realistic, still, as always, nothing 007-like.
That's why we started this whole Smiley and Guillam thing, actually.
Yeah, that. Although I'm a bit worried I might end up just as another John le Carre copycat.
You won't, Art. How many times should I tell you?
Well, it's a bit funny, you know what. My brother Jerome met Vincente first. I think he was a client of yours?
Yes, you can say that. He bought a lantern clock from my Portobello stall - I do have a few bric-a-brac, although I prefer pocket-watches.
Yes, and then I think you gave him your card, didn't you? At any rate, Jerome had this fisherman statuette - the same one that's on Vincente's mantelpiece now, actually - and he's owned it for several days when he started seeing fishermen everywhere. That is, he started seeing one particular fisherman, who looks exactly like his statuette, always following him around, or spying near his house. It's made him positively paranoid.
That's Jerome for you.
Haha, yeah, he's always a bit melodramatic, isn't he? So, he called me and gave me Vincente's address, and told me to get him to go to his house at all costs.
Which, being the good, compliant brother he is, he did. So, I suddenly found Art knocking on my door - I wasn't living in Notting Hill yet back then, I was renting a little flat, the 12B -
It's actually just number twelve, wasn't it?
It actually was, yes. But I live on the second floor, so I call it 12B. Reminds me of 221B Baker Street, that's why. Anyway, Art went to pick me up, and that was that.
No, it wasn't. You scared me with a plaster cast.
Oh, yes, that plaster cast! *laughs* It's Ben, if you really have to know. Ben's a friend of mine, he restores sculpture; he needs a plaster cast of a hand, and decides that my hand looks like the sculpture's. So, we made a cast of my hand, and he painted it and took it. After the restoration is done, he returned the cast to me, as a joke, and I brought it home. But Art happened to drop by that day, and he saw the hand, and, well -
Well, I thought it was a real disembodied hand! *Vincente laughs, Art starts giggling* I hardly know you. I thought you were some sort of homicidal psychopath.
(And, I know they do sound like siblings sometimes; it's the reason I don't want to separate their survey. They're just so much fun to write in an informal interview setting like this.)
An omnivorous reader with a strangely retentive memory for trifles.