The psychotherapist and fiction writer on the importance of sci-fi and Freud, and the connection between love and madness

Frank Tallis is a novelist, nonfiction writer and clinical psychologist. He has held lecturing posts in clinical psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry and neuroscience at King’s College London. He has written horror fiction, a series of detective novels featuring the fictional detective Max Liebermann and four books about psychology, including Changing Minds, a history of psychotherapy. The Incurable Romantic, an account – told through case histories of his patients – of a life spent investigating obsessive love, is published on 7 June (Little Brown).

This is the second book you have written about the nature of love. What draws you to the subject?
Its universality – and the fact that falling in love is the one experience that most people have in their lives where they can say, for a short period of time, they have flirted with madness. All of us can empathise with this strange state, where we begin to lose touch with reality and think in an entirely different way.

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