Why make things up?

My novel came to me in an instant: a nine-year-old boy, his mother’s empty bed, the messy house, the clues she’s left amongst the chaos. The story happened right there, where I lived, in a south London chimney-pot terrace; and right then, in 2012, in the waning glow of the London Olympics and the deepening shadow of the coalition government’s austerity policy.