I write out of compulsion. “The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner,” as Alan Sillitoe remarked—the exhilaration and discipline of the run; the finish line unknown until you get there. Do I think of my readers as I write? Yes, in the sense that they are part of the dialogue as I seek to excavate something for them, for me—power, love, despair. Seduced and in love with words and the beauty of syntax: that’s writing. Who will read your book when you launch it into the world? That’s a matter of luck. You think mostly of the vacuum between books, and wait until the next one arrives like a gift.