A. Journalist, playwright, director, actor, steelworker, farmhand...
A. Being a novelist.
A. Royal Masonic Schools and University of Leicester
A. Ludwig van Beethoven
A. The Prisoner - original version with Patrick McGoohan
A. Moving ever closer and closer to the edge.
A. Following a friendly star on a warm night far out at sea.
A. Fear. And the curious tea time calm that usually precedes it.
A. Speyside, Tobago.
A. Cromwell for the sweep of history: Rupert of the Rhine for the clothes.
A. Any mother fighting to feed her children in the Third World.
A. For the moment...
A. Not starting a bigger coup in Paraguay on Sir James Goldsmith's Now! magazine American Express card while looking for the Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele. I should have got a credit upgrade.
A. Unicycle. J.G. Ballard was very good. I think Dickens dabbled.
A. My books.
A. Hard driving empathy.
A. Hitler's Moustache: To make him sneeze uncontrollably at crucial moments. It is hard to embark on world slaughter if everyone is saying, 'Gezondheid, mein Fuhrer,' all the time. The duty of writers is to get up politicians' noses.
A. Hopefully a sense of humour and the absurd.
A. At present Prince Myshkin in Dostoyevsky's The Idiot
A. Behemoth the giant, subversive cat in The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgarkov.
A. Caligula: 'I see George Eliot's Middlemarch does it for you too.'
A. The incineration of infants described as collateral damage.
A. Thinking about the next book.
A. My own.
A. Kindness, calmness and courage. Could be better in all three.
A. Honey roast banker.
A. My Uncle Used To Love Me But She Died, Roger Miller, Take Me In Your Arms And Love Me, Gladys Knight and the Pips, Missa Luba, Sanctus, Soave sia il vento, Cosi Fan Tutti, Mozart, Beethoven's Symphony No 9, choral fourth movement.
A. Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Gustave Flaubert, Albert Camus, Emily Bronte, Graham Greene, Ernest Hemingway, Mikhail Bulgakov, Evelyn Waugh and Roberto Bolano.
A. Catcher in the Rye, J.D. Salinger, Moby Dick, Herman Melville, The Heart of the Matter, Graham Greene, The Sailor who fell from Grace with the Sea, Yukio Mishima, For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway.
A. I read 101 Dalmations by Dodie Smith more than nine times when I was eight to shut out the fact my father was dying. I can sample Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh forever.
A. Believe totally in yourself but don't let your mother know.
A. 'You made me laugh out loud yet it moved me...' That is such bliss it renders me speechless.