New from Simon & Schuster

Author Revealed

Revealing Questions

Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

A. From child prodigy to hasbeen without intervening career.

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. Whose turn is it to put the kettle on?

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. A loved one, a table, a bottle of red wine, a baguette. A game of Scrabble. And an album by the Pixies blaring out of the stereo at about 200dB.

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. Lying on my deathbed and thinking I didn't try hard enough. And dogs not on leads when I'm jogging in the park.

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

A. A diner in New York staring at a plate of French toast.

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?

A. A caveman rushing out of his cave to tell his mates that he's just invented fire only to find them all sitting around having a barbecue.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. Tim Smith, the singer and main songwriter in the fantastic (and criminally little known) band called Cardiacs. He is my absolute hero.

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?

A. Cardiacs, tea, dinosaurs, Doctor Who, muffins, wine, gin, tonic, diet.

Q. What do you regret most?

A. Not learning how to write novels earlier.

Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

A. Singing without making people run for cover and screaming.

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. Writing for Smith & Jones on BBC 1 when I was 18. All downhill since then!

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. A facile talent for jokes.

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. A facile talent for jokes.

Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?

A. A duck, because they can swim, fly and waddle (and that's two more than I can do presently).

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. See answers 13 and 14.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

A. Benjamin the donkey in "Animal Farm"

Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?

A. The shark in "Jaws", although he's only doing what comes naturally.

Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?

A. Shakespeare. "Can I have some comps?"

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?

A. Not being able to find the way out of Ikea.

Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?

A. Having very long lunches.

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. Tapas Inspector.

Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

A. Sense of humour, intelligence, scepticism.

Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

A. Pork pies from Hulsons The Bakers in Mold, North Wales.

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?

A. "Big Ship" by Cardiacs, "Journey of the Sorcerer" by the Eagles, "No More Heroes" by the Stranglers, "Sunspots" by Julian Cope, "I am the Walrus" by the Beatles.

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