Rohinton Mistry on ‘ A Fine Balance’ : I had originally planned to write a short novel. It began in my mind’s eye ‘with the image of a woman at a sewing machine . . . As I began  writing, though, the story grew and I found myself getting interested in
other details of the characters’ lives.

R K Narayan on ‘Malgudi’ : One day walking home from college library I had a great idea for my first book. A whole small and peaceful town of Malgudi floated in front of my eyes and I could see Swami with his friends running around.

Haruki Murakami was watching a baseball game between the Yakult Swallows and the Hiroshima Carp one day in April 1978. A US player called Dave Hilton hit the first ball way out into left field. And at that extraordinary moment, Murakami realised he could write a novel.

‘You become a good writer just as you become a good carpenter : by planing down your sentences’ – Anatole France.