The Guardian book club is looking at The Wasp Factory this month:
The Wasp Factory represented me admitting partial defeat, heaving a slightly theatrical sigh, stepping reluctantly away from the gaudy, wall-size canvasses of science/space fiction to lay down my oversize set of Rolf Harris paint rollers, pick up a set of brushes thinner than pencils and - jaw set, brows furrowed - lower myself to using a more restricted palette and to producing what felt like a miniature in comparison.
In the end I went for something that kept me closer to my by-then comfort zone: a first-person narrative set on a remote Scottish nearly-island told by a normality-challenged teenager with severe violence issues allowed me to treat my story as something resembling SF. The island could be envisaged as a planet, and Frank, the protagonist, almost as an alien. I gave in to the write-what-you-know school but with a dose of skiffy hyperbole, mining my own past for exaggerateable experiences.