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But this is him reminiscing about the place: "I miss its stillness, serenity and beauty. I miss the scale of it and the feeling of being completely surrounded by the sea. It was hysteria, like a mini-plague. The last time year-old Sutherland spoke about Orkney he caused a right stooshie. He was plugging his third novel, Venus As A Boy, whose central character escapes South Ronaldsay for Soho, surviving bullying on the island to reinvent himself as a transvestite, ganting-for-it male prostitute called Desiree, complete with calling card: "Gorgeous Orcadian Boy - ready for anything.
It was the racism that got them. Unfortunately - but he accepts this was inevitable - most of the interviews he did earlier this year went big on the racism.
And when the ripples of the controversy lapped the shores of Orkney, there was a "mini-outrage". Why is he saying those things? I phoned them up and challenged them on this and they admitted it. They invited me on air to set the record straight, but by then the damage had been done. And so he sets it straight now. In an accent that starts off a bit London, a bit camp, but - "This always happens when I speak to one of you guys" - ends up sounding quite Scottish.
The windows were smashed and the door knobs were covered in treacle and fireworks were thrown at the house. He was baited all the time. You need a thousand This is typical Sutherland, ripping up the statute book. His world is far from compartmentalised, and Venus As A Boy is full of "very fluid ideas about polarity". And Sutherland is alive - with ideas and their endless possibilities. He had a bad time, occasionally, but he survived and now he smiles continually.
So how does he get his kicks? One day, Sutherland wants to have a family of his own. Share this article. IN A coffee bar in Soho, Luke Sutherland looks every inch the metropolitan hipster, a cool, sexy writer with a dream weekend job as a guitar-for-hire playing with rock band mates in four different countries.