Born in Nottingham in 1957, Robert Harris grew up with a burning ambition to write, matched only by a deep fascination with politics. At 30, he became the political editor of The Observer. At 35, he published his first novel, Fatherland, which imagines a world in which the Nazis won the Second World War. It has sold over 3 million copies. Last autumn, he published Dictator, the final novel in his acclaimed trilogy about Cicero. In conversation with Peter Kemp, Chief Fiction Reviewer for The Sunday Times, he explores his belief that politics is “the essence of life” and how this belief has informed his fiction, and discusses which writers have influenced him and whether he was ever tempted to turn to Parliament rather than the pen.