One Minute With: Jake Arnott
Friday 12 June 2009
Where are you now and what can you see?
I'm in my office in Clerkenwell. I look out on to a gloomy courtyard and backstreets which are laughingly called Mount Pleasant.
What are you currently reading?
I have just finished Kamila Shamsie's Burnt Shadows which is fantastically ambitious with strong ideas.
Choose a favourite author, and say why you like her/him
I often come back to Jorge Luis Borges. I have got his collected fiction which is just over 500 pages. He writes with such precision and everything is so pared down.
Describe the room where you usually write
There is gloom without and chaos within. There's a whole wall of books at one end, piles of paper and a desk whose surface I've never seen but it's there somewhere.
What distracts you from writing?
Life. Writing is sort of the opposite of life; retreating into another world.
Which fictional character most resembles you?
I'm not sure about now but I remember reading Lord of the Flies when I was a kid and in it Simon was the twitchy anxious one who had an imagination that got him into trouble, and with whom I identified.
What are your readers like when you meet them?
In some ways, they are not my readers as I don't really possess them, but I do feel we are sharing some special sense of conspiracy together.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
Elena Salvoni, who owns the Charlotte Street restaurant, Elena's L'Etoile. She is a tiny Italian Londoner who seems to be eternally youthful. She has impossibly famous people there but treats everyone the same.
Jake Arnott's 'The Devil's Paintbrush' is published by Sceptre
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 'Kidnapped boy may have been abused and murdered by VIP paedophile ring,' say police
- 2 Ridley Scott on Exodus, Gods and Kings casting: 'I'm not going to get it financed if my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such'
- 3 Girl, 7, gets Tesco to remove 'stupid' sign suggesting superheroes are 'for boys'
- 4 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 5 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' close to camp
This house and dental clinic 'piled up like bricks on the brink of collapsing' is why Japan wins at architecture
Ridley Scott on Exodus, Gods and Kings casting: 'I'm not going to get it financed if my lead actor is Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such'
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Beast of Bolsover' Dennis Skinner takes Ukip MP Mark Reckless to task moments after he is sworn in
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Bollywood actress Veena Malik sentenced to 26 years in jail for blasphemy after appearing in mock TV wedding scene