"I definitely liked the nerdier characters. I think partly because there’s an honesty to them. When I wrote about the more "normal" characters I found it a lot harder, mainly because I think that they were hiding everything important about themselves. I mean, nobody’s normal. But in school especially, you have this huge mass of people in the middle who put all of their energy into dressing and thinking and behaving in exactly the same way as the people around them, and stifling anything about themselves that they fear marks them out as different. So they come across as bland, because they’re deliberately trying to appear bland, and it’s very difficult to get past that wall. The nerdier characters -- it’s a strange feature of human behaviour, that intelligent people, particularly intelligent kids, don’t have the same ability to cover themselves up and blend in with their surroundings, even though it would be to their advantage. Instead they play D&D and bring all kinds of calamity down on themselves. And don’t get girlfriends until they’re 29."
- Paul Murray, in interview