The Scots-born Alan Warner had a lively pre-writing career path: after immersing himself in the Spanish rave scene he worked as a train driver, musician, barman and bouncer (he is six foot three).
Warner grew up near Oban on the West coast of Scotland and assumed as a young man that novels ‘had died out in Scotland around the time of Walter Scott’. He credits the former Booker Prize winner James Kelman’s The Busconductor Hines for showing him a form of identifiable Scottish novel: ‘It’s just great art’. As a young novelist he would play up to the national stereotype and ‘go to the pub for three or four days’ to celebrate finishing a book. He spends much of his year in Javea on the Costa Blanca in Spain, in a house that he bought ‘with money from Hollywood’.