One Minute With: Paul Torday, novelist
Friday 11 February 2011
Where are you now and what can you see?
In an office in Newcastle, where I go for meetings. Around me I can see row after row of factories.
What are you currently reading?
'The Hare with Amber Eyes' by Edmund de Waal – a very good read. He has an interesting way of writing about family by linking everything through the collection of little netsuke.
Choose a favourite author, and say why you admire her/him
I like Proust because he makes you see things in a different way. I re-read him about once every ten years, and much prefer the old translation by CK Scott Moncrieff. Also, people often forget that Proust can be incredibly funny.
Describe the room where you usually write
I have a sort of study that looks out over fields. It has one desk with a big iMac, where I write, and another old desk where I pay all my bills. I have my favourite books in there: Proust, almost all Trollope, the complete works of PG Wodehouse.
What distracts you from writing?
A small brown working cocker spaniel who comes in to give me presents – usually my wife's shoes.
Which fictional character most resembles you?
Dickson McCunn in John Buchan's 'Huntingtower'. He sells his grocery business and sets off to have adventures. It struck me as a metaphor for my own weird change of career in my late fifties: from full-time work in engineering to being a novelist.
What are your readers like when you meet them?
Mostly pretty helpful, and quite ready to give me feedback – either positive or negative. I'm occasionally surprised that people under the age of 30 read my books.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
The Duke of Wellington. He was one of those very rare people who could think strategically and, at the same time, had the most tremendous focus on every detail.
Paul Torday's new novel is 'More Than You Can Say' (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Scottish independence results live: Reunited kingdom - Scotland gives a clear 'No' in historic referendum
- 2 iOS 8 is full of shiny new features - but it's terrible news for app developers
- 3 Iranian blogger found guilty of insulting Prophet Mohammad on Facebook sentenced to death
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams cast in Channel 4 drama about cyber bullying
Downton Abbey: Liam Neeson wants role as stableman in period drama
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Star Wars 7 leaked photo of Adam Driver changes everything
The Walking Dead season 5 synopsis: Spoilers and existential questions revealed
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Russia freezes Ukraine into submission: Kiev admits country doesn't have enough fuel for winter
Scottish independence: The Queen breaks silence on referendum debate – as think tank warns of £14bn black hole if Scotland votes Yes
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'