Where are you now and what can you see? In the office of the house I'm renting in Los Angeles. I can see palm trees and all sort of lush foliage. Also, the sparkly water of the hot tub.
What are you currently reading? Jonathan Coe's BS Johnson biography 'Like a Fiery Elephant' which is as brilliant as everyone says. Fiction wise, I decided to re-read James Ellroy's 'LA Confidential'. I'm stunned all over again at how loose it is but how it somehow holds together.
Choose a favourite author, and say why you admire her/him John Updike. Just for the way he'll burrow into the depths of the tiniest moment. And how he'll go anywhere off-map, from the occasional flashes of the loathing parents feel for children to the rigours of anal sex.
Describe the room where you usually write I have a garden office at home. It's about my favourite place in the world. I love a quality shed.
Which fictional character most resembles you? [Martin Amis's] John Self with a grounding spike of Keith Talent.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature? [The Clash's] Mick Jones fights a battle with Tony Benn for this slot.
John J Niven's 'Cold Hands' is published by Heinemann