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Irvine Welsh

The Trainspotting author takes time out from writing his new novel to tell us about his current obsession

Irvine Welsh’s eloquently vivid style of writing has inspired minds and churned stomachs in equal measure. Though descriptions of heroin addicts, mangled orifices and wide-eyed violence are already fantastically graphic, three of his books (Trainspotting, Acid House and Ecstasy) have been adapted to film, with a fourth, Filth, soon on its way. Currently residing in Miami, Welsh is finishing a new novel and working on a wealth of other projects, including penning a TV series with Iggy Pop as a sleazy janitor. Welsh takes time off to discuss his current obsession…

"I’m in this office a lot when I’m writing so my obsessions tend to be physical artefacts; they’re all around me. Seymour, my miniature polar bear looks down on me and supervises me at work. He has these amazing eyes, and he does “see more”, they follow you around the room. He watches me in quite a sinister, spooky manner, like he’s about to pounce if I don’t do my work.

I’m at a certain point in the novel now when I’ve gone a bit insane, basically and writing is about insanity, it’s about spending all this time with people that don’t exist and that’s a fucking mental, fucked up thing to do. It’s seems strange to say a plastic polar bear keeps you sane, but in a way it kind of does. He’s not alive but at least he’s real, more than most of the people I’ve been talking to in the last couple of weeks.

He’s got that, ‘if you don’t get on with your work, I’m gonna tear you limb from limb’ kind of presence. Very much a polar bear; he is a proper polar bear, only smaller. He came along about ten years ago, for Porno in 2001, and he’s been around ever since."

Irvine Welsh's 'Ecstasy' is out on DVD August 20, 212