One Minute With: Andy McNab

Where are you now and what can you see?

I am in London... in the boardroom of a military recruitment company called Force Select. The view is of the Toucan pub in Soho, where I'll be going soon to meet a couple of mates very soon.

What are you currently reading?

'Flipnosis' by Dr Kevin Dutton. He is a research fellow at Cambridge University and talks like he should be selling fruit and veg on a market stall. He has written this brilliant book on the art of split-second persuasion.

Choose afavourite writer and say why you like him/her

I know there will be a collective sigh and readers will think "predictable". However, it has to be Charles Dickens. He encapsulates human life. If you replaced his horse and carriage with a car, and his coal fire with central heating, his books could have been written yesterday

Decsribe the room where you usually write

In a small converted barn...It has two windows and far too many things to distract me.

What distracts you from writing?

Everything inside the barn... a TV, running machine, drum set and coffee machine. Also people continuously come in... I have a sign on the door that says "piss off I'm busy". Thankfully they ignore that.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

It has to be Nick Stone, the hero of my thrillers. Everything good about him is, of course, me and everything bad I've made up.

What are your readers like?

They tell me they really love the books or really hate them. There never seems to be an in-between.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Muhammad Ali. Since I was a kid and discovered he never wore underpants, which I copied, he has been my hero. Not only for his boxing but for the way he always stood up for what he believed

'War Torn' by Andy McNab and Kym Jordan is published by Transworld