Bookplanet: Cloud Atlas birthed by books
'If a reader asks me how Cloud Atlas began life, I always feel that I'm disappointing the questioner — and a grand literary tradition — by being unable to provide a eureka story. "Ah yes, the idea came to me one night. I'd been playing Russian roulette in Hull Swimming Baths with an eel-sculptor who claimed to be Keith Moon ... " But the truth is, I've never experienced a novel-sized eureka moment. My books coagulate, very slowly indeed, in a gloppy primordial idea-soup. So the best I can do is describe what murky items were floating in the bottom of that soup before and during the writing of Cloud Atlas.' Mitchell on the genesis of his novel Cloud Atlas.