One Minute With: Jeffery Deaver

Where are you now and what can you see?

I am in Rimini, on the Adriatic Sea in Italy, where I'm on a book tour for 'The Burning Wire'. I can see... the manuscript of my next book, 'Edge'... and out the window... a factory and parking lot.

What are you currently reading?

'The Terminal Spy' by Alan S Cowell, about the murder of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko in London. It's a fascinating look at present-day spying.

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

Thomas Harris: one of the great stylists in the crime/thriller genre... He also concocts among the most compelling characters of anyone.

Describe the room where you usually write

I've turned a small bedroom in my college-town home into a rather utilitarian office... I have a little art: an oil painting I bought in Singapore, a watercolour my very talented sister did for me...

What distracts you from writing?

A lawn that needs mowing, a dog that needs walking... an 'Office' rerun (British version) that needs watching, a pile of dishes that need cleaning...

Which fictional character most resembles you?

[Augie] from Saul Bellow's novel, 'The Adventures of Augie March'. A Chicagoan like me, Augie forged ahead in life, sometimes making mistakes... sometimes succeeding, but always following his own path.

What are your readers like when you meet them?

[In Forli] last night... at least a half dozen people told me that they'd been nervous to get their books signed because they thought I would be much darker and forbidding.

Who is you hero/heroine from outside literature?

My grandfather. He was a flyer in World War One, and an attorney in Chicago... He was always calm, thoughtful... and a vocal, uncompromising opponent of bigotry in all its forms.

Jeffery Deaver's 'The Burning Wire' is published by Hodder & Stoughton