Rufus Garlic, author, invites you to take a quick breather in life's great steeplechase and read about what makes him tick:For years I wrote like a clapped out old car - started, faltered and stopped; started, faltered and stopped. Not once did I ever finish anything, didn't even come close. Then a decade ago life dealt me a few swift mule-kicks and left me feeling as if I had done the Everest descent in a loose-fitting barrel. Wrapped in the blue-grey fungus of my despondency I sat myself down to write and, for once, did not stop. I just persevered. I set out to write a 100,000 word novel and ended up with a 300,000 word monster. The thing had grown in all sorts of organic directions as I penned it. It was a vast, unruly bay tree. So, obviously, what I needed to do was to start with the intention of writing a 40,000 novella and then the end product would be a novel of the requisite length. I had a fresh idea, new characters, some time off work. The result was 120,000 words: 'The Disappearance Club or A Polish Detective in London'.
The Things They Carried won France's prestigious Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger and the Chicago Tribune Heartland Prize; it was also a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award.