One Minute With: David Nicholls

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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

I'm sitting in my office at home in Highbury, North London, opposite my computer, where I sit every day.

What are you currently reading?

I'm re-reading The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Muriel Spark is one of my favourite writers and this is one of the few "almost perfect" books.

Choose a favourite author, and say why you like her/him

I read a lot of F Scott Fitzgerald. I love Tender is the Night, and its atmosphere of doomed romance. He was one of the greatest prose stylists, with a wonderfully clear but lyrical quality. I love to re-read him.

Describe the room where you usually write

It's the noisiest room in the house, just by the front in the hallway, which is handy for the children to come in and jump up and down. I work three days at home, and two days in the British Library or the London Library, just to get out of the house and hide from the children.

What distracts you from writing?

I've got a bad tick which leads me to constantly check my emails.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

I identified with Pip from Great Expectations, especially when I was younger; I had the same kind of gaucheness and uncertainty.

What are your readers like when you meet them?

I rarely meet them but they leave messages on my website about my books that are lovely.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Billy Wilder, a great writer and director with integrity whose work combined European and American sensibilities. I love The Apartment for its blend of cynicism and romance.

David Nicholls is a panellist for the London Book Fair Masterclasses on 17 April. His novel 'One Day' is published by Hodder & Stoughton

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