There are lots of lovely details here that do much to illuminate the sheer grind and self-discipline required for any serious writer:
During the research process which takes place in year two or three, I have a very anal system. I have three or four card indexes, organised by name, place, and topic. I keep a dateline on my laptop with every event from the beginning of the story to the end. It usually starts at about four or five pages and by the time I start to write it’s about 400 pages. In that is the key quotes boiled down and tightened up in neat little gobbets. It’s a very slow process.