It’s a strange business, writing fiction. At least I find it so. I’m very conscious that I can only write on the basis of my own experiences. That’s it, there’s nothing else to go on. I may do lots of research on, for example, China, but if I haven’t actually been to China (and I haven’t), then all I’m writing about is the borrowed experiences of other people. I can probably make it work if my research is sufficiently thorough or I approach my chosen subject with a bit of chutzpah, but for me at any rate, it doesn’t satisfy. I tend to think I’ll be found out.
Many non-writers don’t have these qualms of course. They’ll say anything, even if they don’t understand it. We call them charlatans, or politicians.