A. I've been an industrial archaeologist, a guinea pig for a multinational pharmaceutical giant, a nightshift worker in a supermarket. I ran a market stall. I was a bookseller. I also worked for several years in the sales department of a large publishing house.
A. This one.
A. I went to a few schools. The last of them was Brislington Comprehensive in south Bristol. Eventually, I went to Leeds University
A. For good or ill, the Cure were the soundtrack to most of my life. So were the Chameleons. I still listen to music every day, but the ferocity of my raw devotion to these bands could never be recaptured - and nor should it.
A. The Exorcist, Jaws, the Indiana Jones movies, the Bourne Supremacy
A. David Tenant's Dr Who is the best television show in the world - and I should know, I watch more TV than could possibly be good for me. I tried to resist saying the Wire because God knows I'm bored of hearing writers extol it. I'm not keen to add to their number, but in this case, they're right; the Wire is outstanding. In the interests of balance, I should add that I love America's Next Top Model, Project Runway and Top Chef.
A. The life I dreamed of, with less sleep.
A. I can't imagine ever being in a position where I might need one, or could use one without looking like an imbecile. "A guilty conscience needs to confess," you say. "A work of art is a confession." You think you sound like Dorothy Parker, but actually you sound like the windy old buffoon you so patently are. I wouldn't mind having my own catchphrase, though, if I could only think of one that wouldn't get on my family's nerves after about five minutes. So it would probably be - "I'll put the kettle on, shall I?", or; "Yes, you can play on the Wii."
A. Being at home, together with my wife and my sons on a day when I've written well and there's something really good on TV.
A. Exactly the same as everyone else's.
A. At home on a sunny day, writing well.
A. That's a dangerous game to start playing. I don't identify with (or even slightly resemble) any of my many heroes. It worries me that, because I've never had cause to be brave, I might lack the capacity. So I most identify with the scum and the cowards, fearing that, but for an accident of history, I'd be walking amongst them.
A. Dr Who
A. "tea", "cup", "kettle" and "that bloody dog."
A. In order for me to be right here, right now, everything that ever happened had to happen exactly the way it happened. Change one factor, change everything. That's not New Age balderdash, it's chaos theory - it's life. I very much like where I am now, so how can I regret anything?
A. The ability to touch type. The ability to draw, paint, sing, play a musical instrument, fix things, make things. But the fact that I never bothered to learn a single one of these things would appear to indicate that, really, I'm not that interested in any of them.
A. The constant fear of loss and the sense of time slipping away.
A. Me, for all that.
A. Yossarian, Indiana Jones, David Tenant's Dr Who.
A. Patricia Highsmith, Raymond Carver, Joseph Heller, Paul Theroux, Graham Greene, Angela Carter, Stephen King, Elmore Leonard, Michael Connelly, Anne Tyler.
A. I re-read Raymond Carver every year, with undiminished awe.
A. It's a truism because it's true: writing is re-writing.
A. How can someone so normal write such disturbing stories?