One Minute With: Jed Mercurio

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Where are you now and what can you see?

In my study at the top of my house in Teddington. I'm looking out over our garden. There's a plastic cricket bat my son has left on the lawn and a cat staring longingly into a pond.

What are you currently reading?

I'm reading Ten Storey Love Song by Richard Milward. I read his first novel, Apples, after hearing a reading of his in the Hague. I really enjoyed it, so I've have started this one.

Describe the room where you usually write

It's a converted bedroom... It's got everything I need really - a comfortable armchair for thinking/skiving, a TV to play DVDs, bookshelves, my iPod and a Pilates ball.

What distracts you?

It's probably when the kids arrive home from school from about half-three. But I encourage them. They're so used to having me around anyway.

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

James Salter... I discovered him about ten years ago. I'd wanted to read his book, The Hunters, about fighter pilots in Korea, and it turned out to be one of the best I've ever read.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

There's some I'd like to resemble. In the stuff I've read over the past couple of years, there's the father in Cormac McCarthy's The Road... He's trying to maintain civilised values.

What are your readers like when you meet them?

I suppose a a pretty large sub-group is all the people in some way connected with medicine.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Someone from the world of sport. The footballer I've admired most in the last ten years is Zinedine Zidane... one of those rare individuals who had the skill but also incredible vision.

Jed Mercurio's 'American Adulterer' is published by Jonathan Cape.

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