I started working on Captive Prince a few years ago, while I was living in Tokyo. Truthfully, I wasn’t good at ideas then, I had no process. I thought ideas sprang fully formed into the mind of the writer, and since that didn’t happen to me, I assumed I must not be a writer. I didn’t realise that ideas are glimmers, inklings that must be seized and worked on.
So I was at that early stage of ‘I would like to write but I don’t know what to write about’. My process was honestly ridiculous. I thought, well, if I am going to write a book, it should be about something that I like! I literally wrote down a list of everything that I liked. The first thing on the list was ‘princes’ and the second thing on the list was ‘hot guys with unbearable tensions between them’. That was it. I still have the list, ‘antiheroes, sword fights, biased viewpoint, rooftop chases, daring escapes, enemies, court politics, power plays’—it goes on.