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
TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Peter Lik: The self-proclaimed 'fine-art photographer' whose work sells for millions
The best underrated Christmas movies from Love, Actually to While You Were Sleeping
Grace Dent on TV: The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies was a beautifully shot, immensely considered drama
The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies, review: Jason Watkins is brilliant, but real victim Joanna Yeates is reduced to a footnote
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Shock poll shows voters believe Ukip is to the left of the Tories
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Ukip candidate jokes about 'shooting peasants' in racist and homophobic rant
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre