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
Music Why this music festival is still the place to spot the next big thing
Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Germanwings crash: Police make 'significant discovery' at home of co-pilot Andreas Lubitz
- 2 Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
- 3 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 4 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 5 Jeremy Clarkson calls on trolls to leave producer Oisin Tymon alone: 'None of this is his fault'
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Jeremy Clarkson courted by Russian Ministry of Defence TV station to present motoring show
One Direction fans campaign to buy the band after Zayn Malik quits
Zayn Malik already working on solo material, just days after quitting One Direction
Fifty Shades of Grey movie shows first sex scene 'after 40 minutes'
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Andreas Guenter Lubitz intentionally crashed flight 9525 into the Alps in act of mass murder and suicide – latest