Questions by Andrew Cowan, Course Director, MA in Creative Writing, UEA Richard, what was your background – what were you doing before you came to UEA? Writing. Working. Too much working (games teacher, barman, exhibition attendant, manservant) not enough writing. I’d been out of college for six years, had finished four novels, the third of which enticed a nibble from a couple of agents. One of them sent it to three or four publishers but it came straight back. What prompted you to apply for the MA? I wanted to write another novel, but not in the same way, or as a very wise man once said: if you do what you always do, you’ll get what you always get.