Graeme Simsion, novelist: 'I loved the intelligent and observant comedy of the Rumpole stories'


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Where are you now and what can you see?

At our country shack in Lancefield, an hour's drive from Melbourne, where my wife, Anne Buist, and I do much of our writing. I can see my notebook computer and a glass of wine (it's after 6pm). If I look up I can see fruit and gum trees, cockatoos and blue sky. And kangaroos.

What are you currently reading?

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler.

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

Sir John Mortimer. I loved the intelligent and observant comedy of the Rumpole stories, which kept coming, but which did not get in the way of him carving a much bigger space in the literary world - drama, screenwriting, memoir…

Describe the room where you usually write

I did! On the deck at Lancefield or, in inclement weather, inside in front of a blazing fire in the living/dining/cooking room. With my wife in the opposite armchair.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

You want me to say Don Tillman [The Rosie Project/Rosie Effect protagonist], don't you? There's a bit of me in Don, but as much of me in Gene and even Rosie. A long time ago I related to screenwriter Daniel Martin in John Fowles's eponymous book. And I wasn't even a screenwriter then!

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Bob Dylan. Still doing creative work, still exploring his limits and his art into his seventies. A nod to Leonard Cohen for the same reason. And I love their work.

Graeme Simsion's paperback edition of 'The Rosie Effect' is out now. He will be at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature on Saturday 7 March at 1-2pm