Nick Lake Revealed
About Nick Lake
What is your birthdate?:8/21
Previous occupations:Student, and then book editor. Which I still am.
Favorite job:Being a book editor. No one told me at school that there was a job where you got paid for being a fan of writers and writing.
High school and/or college:I went to High School in Luxembourg, and I went to Oxford University after that for a degree and then a fairly pointless masters. In phonetics, of all things.
Name of your favorite composer or music artist?:The Pixies.
Favorite movie:I usually lie and go for something clever like Vertigo. But really it's True Romance.
Favorite television show:Right now? Deadwood.
- Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?
- A. I would use the word "busy" eight times.
- Q. What is your motto or maxim?
- A. To paraphrase the existentialists - life is what you make it. Which amounts to a practical kind of karma, I suppose.
- Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?
- A. A fire, a good chair and a new Stephen King book. Or the moment the soundchecks finish and the band take to the stage. Or sunset on the mountains, with weary feet, and the lights of a pub ahead. Or the sound of a breakbeat. Or a very sweet tea, anywhere in the middle east, at any time of day.
- Q. What’s your greatest fear?
- A. Not being good.
- Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?
- A. The main square in Esfehan, Iran, with the aforementioned glass of tea.
- Q. With whom in history do you most identify?
- A. Er... someone who was a writer and an editor? I don't know. I don't think I identify with anyone.
- Q. Which living person do you most admire?
- A. Haruki Murakami. Stephen King. Anyone who works for Medecins sans Frontieres or Amnesty International.
- Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?
- A. "Apparently".
- Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?
- A. The abillity to play a musical instrument well. Also, the ability to speak all languages fluently.
- Q. What is your greatest achievement?
- A. Meeting my wife.
- Q. What’s your greatest flaw?
- A. Self-recrimination and low self-esteem.
- Q. What’s your best quality?
- A. Self-recrimination and low self-esteem - they're unparalleled for giving a person drive.
- Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?
- A. I wouldn't mind being Simon Cowell. I could make the X-factor go away. Not to mention R&B flavoured pop music.
- Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?
- A. I have no idea. My hair? It's usually quite big, because I keep forgetting to have it cut. I look like the freakish son of Tom Hanks and David Hasselhoff.
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?
- A. Sally Lockhart.
- Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?
- A. Steerpike. (Also hero.)
- Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?
- A. I'd like to meet Shakespeare and I'd ask him how to write better.
- Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?
- A. People who drive waaaaay under the speed limit.
- Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?
- A. Reading? Actually probably sleeping, to be honest.
- Q. What’s your fantasy profession?
- A. Bestselling and universally admired author.
- Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?
- A. Compassion. Empathy. Humour.
- Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?
- A. Chocolate, in any form.
- Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?
- A. Hmmm. "Beat It"; "Here, There and Everywhere" by the Beatles; "U-Mass" by the Pixies; "Heartbeat" by Annie and "Etched Headplate" by Burial
On Books and Writing
- Q. Who are your favorite authors?
- A. Haruki Murakami. Stephen King. Neil Gaiman. Margaret Atwood. Joan Didion. Ismail Kadare. Philip Reeve. Philip Pullman. Meg Rosoff.
- Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?
- A. Tough one. I guess... Middlemarch; Coraline; For Whom the Bell Tolls; the collected works of Shakespeare... and Little, Big, by John Crowley - the single most unfairly overlooked, beautiful, miraculous and magical book I know.
- Q. Is there a book you love to reread?
- A. Little, Big, by John Crowley. The single most... oh, you know the rest.
- Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?
- A. I wouldn't presume to think of myself as someone anyone might look to for advice! But I suppose I'd tell them to read as much as possible, in as many genres as possible.
- Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?
- A. "You're very... imaginative aren't you." I think they mean I'm strange.