Keats at King’s College

Plinky wants to know about my favorite mistake.

When I was in college, I believed I was going to die at any minute. Part of this was AIDS-fear, which was running rampant (and wisely so) back in the late eighties among gay kids my age. Part of it was megalomania. I had been reading the biography of Keats, you see. That he accomplished so much before his death made me want to be like him. I wrote my first novel under the impression that it was all I was ever going to have time to do with my life.

That was a mistake. It was also the only reason I was able to finish that book, and get it published, so quickly and so young. The fact that I know, now, I’m not in imminent danger of death, is a major handicap, in terms of the writing career.