I've said this won't be a conventional biography. I want it to be more accessible and less detail-heavy than most biographies - but of course it is QUITE like a biography.

And I hadn't realised how close I'd get to Carroll in writing this. I trained in art, and the whole thing is starting to remind me of how you feel after you've been sitting drawing the same thing for two or three days. It becomes familiar in an entirely different way from how it seemed after just a few hours. You get a feeling for the "realness" of it.

Before the book was sold, I wrote a proposal which involved drafting out my plans in detail. I hated doing it! I'd got to grips intellectually with how the book should be - but not artistically. It was incredibly offputting to have it critiqued so often in the planning stage. Yet, tough though it was, I learned a lot and the groundwork I put in then is useful now.

Still, the thing about Carroll is that as soon as you feel you know him, he comes up with something that reminds you of how unusual he was. Then, you remember how he can appear so simple and easy, till that "something" changes, and he's strange again. It reminds me of his Mad Gardeners Song, about an unnamed man who thinks he sees things and then finds they are other things. It's the only rhyme or song I can think of to quote about this.

My favourite verse is this one:

He thought he saw a Coach-and-Four
That stood beside his bed:
He looked again, and found it was
A Bear without a Head.
"Poor thing,' he said, "poor silly thing!
It's waiting to be fed!"

It's so Carrollian - first, the sinister image of the coach-and-four horses beside his bed, and the even more sinister headless bear which it silently changes into. But instead of being afraid, suddenly you realise it's just a poor old teddy that needs to be pitied: it is hungry, and it is also rather comical, since without a head it can't eat anything. And, perhaps, it is about time it put its head back on again and started being sensible.