Neil Cross’s nomination ironically marked the end of his career as a full-time novelist. He decided to adapt his longlisted novel, Always the Sun, for the screen and found a new career.
Cross has become hugely successful as a scriptwriter for film and television - creating the detective series Luther and writing for programmes such as Spooks and Dr Who. Although he has written further novels and a much-praised memoir, Heartland, prose is now his secondary career. He thinks himself lucky to be able to do both, since, ‘I think screenwriters make better novelists than novelists make screenwriters. Discuss.’ And while writing novels is ‘solitary and reflective’, a television series is ‘a gaping hellmouth into which you shovel everything’.