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
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- 3 People all over the world are getting semicolon tattoos to draw attention to mental health
- 4 Greek debt crisis: Yanis Varoufakis's funniest (and most memorable) quotes
- 5 Swedish minister gives strongest case yet on why EU should stop turning away asylum seekers
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Chronixx interview: Reggae sensation on taking the opening spot at Glastonbury and calling Barack Obama a 'waste man'
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Amy: Mark Ronson praises 'respectful' Amy Winehouse film as it scores the highest ever UK opening for a British documentary
Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts