Fortunately, little by little, comics are creeping into national consciousness. It's accepted that the comic format can and regularly does have the same depth as a prose novel. Though tensions are still high in places, the graphic novel at least is broadly accepted as an equal citizen in the literary world.
If the name David Frum is at all familiar to British ears, it is generally closely accompanied by "the man who coined the phrase 'Axis of Evil'". This may be enough for some readers to dismiss anything he has to say as the work of a crypto-fascist, imperialist running dog, but they do so at their peril.
Why did you write a novel about her? About Myra Hindley, a woman who killed children? It's the question I'm most frequently asked about my novel, Myra, Beyond Saddleworth, and is both hard and easy to answer. The material was dark and disturbing, and many people can't understand why a writer would persevere with it. But that's the point. Unless we look, really look at the terrible things human beings do to each other, we have no chance of understanding how and why they happen.
In a borough as diverse as Hackney, you will never capture the area in its entirety, and this was never our intention. What the books is, is our version of our neighbourhood. What made it so special to create, was that we found we weren't the only people striving to mark what is going on here, and we certainly aren't the only ones interested in it.
The first time I wrote historical fiction I had no idea what I was taking on. Even now, with one historical novel under my belt, and with a second on the way, I am filled with admiration for anyone who can craft a good period narrative. Of all the literary genres, historical fiction must be the toughest.