During the writing of a novel beware the author who talks about the work in progress. It won't be a work in any proper sense of the word until it's finished...So how can it, as a work, be spoken about until done?
And after the finish of a novel, the work done, beware the author ready with an explanation of what the work is, or does. The work exists to explain itself, how can it be be summarised?
The novel published, beware the author who clams up, goes dog in the manger, says nothing or retreats to statements like the two paragraphs above.