1. Can you tell us how you got involved in Road Stories?
My involvement with 'Road Stories' came out of the blue. As someone lodged for many years in East London, I was surprised to be invited to compose a narrative around Exhibition Road. I liked the challenge.
2.What taster can you give our readers about your short story?
My story is about the presence of rocks and how they draw us in, even though we barely notice their quiet presence in parks and housing projects. Connecting a geological route across London led me, inevitably, to the National History Museum. And to a meteorite in a glass case.
3. Your previous book London Orbital and Hackney, the Rose Red Empire was shortlisted for the 2012 Ondaatje Prize, how did this make you feel as a writer?
Being shortlisted for anything is a mixed blessing. It's nice to be noticed. But a failure to actually win means that the shortcomings of your book are more public. Then there all those interminable dinners to be endured... before the inevitable bad news.
4. There is a central theme of psychogeography of London on your work, when did your interest in this begin?
I'm really NOT very interested in the concept of psychogeography. The term has become a catch-all brand. It was seductive, at first, to take a term from the French Situationists and to blend it with a more English fascination with ley lines and earth mysteries. Now any urban walk can be so described. Any author dealing with patterns and cities will be enlisted in the invisible brotherhood.
5. You work as the editor of London; City of Disappearances, how does this aid your own writing?
I enjoyed the experience of editing 'City of Disappearances'. It was like writing an enormous novel of the city by acts of ventriloquism, tapping into unexpected as well as obvious voices. The book was like a huge encyclopaedia in which fiction, documentary, poetry, tall tale, could mix and blend.
6. Who have been most influential in your own writing?
I've been influenced by the English visionaries (and walkers) William Blake and Thomas De Quincey, by the Irish wordsmiths Joyce, Beckett and Flann O'Brien, and by the American Beats and Blake Mountain poets, from Kerouac and Ginsberg to Charles Olson and Ed Dorn. And by everything else, rich and strange, that I've picked up along the way.
Female First Lucy Walton