Andrew Miller, novelist: 'I first read DH Lawrence at school and it was something of a conversion experience'


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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

I'm in the "Estate Office" – a kind of box room at the back of my cottage. I can see an indigo sky through the sky-light. There's a moon calendar on the wall behind me. In front is a cork-board thickly pinned with scraps of paper – also an envelope containing my will (now you know where to look).

What are you currently reading?

I'm reading The Internet is Not the Answer by Andrew Keen. Says all the things I (and many others) have long suspected but have not quite known how to phrase. I'm also reading The Wallcreeper by Nell Zink.

Choose a favourite author and say why you admire her/him

I first read DH Lawrence at school and it was something of a conversion experience. I never doubted afterwards that good writing mattered, that it could change lives and perhaps save them.

Describe the room where you usually write

In the summer I write at the top of the house in a room with wonderful beetle-gnawed beams and a view of the garden. In the winter I move downstairs and write by the stove.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

I would like to think I resemble Tintin for his inability to resist the ageing process, his doggedness, his quick fists. I fear that I may be closer now to Captain Haddock, though the Captain has virtues of his own.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Robin Knox-Johnston took part in the famous 1968 Round the World race. Sailing alone in 1968 meant exactly that. No GPS, no shore team computer-modelling the weather for you. Knox-Johnston won the race. In 2007, aged 68, he sailed round again.

Andrew Miller's novel 'The Crossing' (Sceptre, £18.99) is out now