One of the things I like about Magic Realism is that there are no boundaries. You can put your characters in whatever situations you choose, and have them react however you want them to. As a writer, this can be quite freeing, removed from the need to be ‘true to life’ – whatever that means. In my case it ensures that there is a pace about the story as you rattle from one scene to the next; a pace that actually reflects the process of writing the story in the first place. I suspect that this natural pace may be in direct conflict with ‘literary quality’, though who’s to say? If you want fast-paced adventure you can loose yourself then you wouldn’t choose Henry James, would you?
The key to make magic realism work is, for me, not to make it too magic. It needs to be a little bit ‘out there’ and clearly unreal, but still close enough to what we accept as ‘real’ to be just a shade unnerving.
This story – an adventure, pure and simple – was born in practical terms from alighting on a first sentence (as is so often the case!), and following on from a gestation period that was firmly centred on time spent in Singapore and the myriad of quite splendid – and vast! – shopping malls they have there.
In a way, Mitch is a little bit of an Everyman – though not as much as Neville in “The Big Frog Theory”. It’s a recurring motif I guess.