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)
Game of Thrones
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
- 2 Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
- 3 Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees
- 4 Refugee crisis: Aylan's life was full of fear - in death, he is part of 'humanity washed ashore'
- 5 German police forced to ask public to stop bringing donations for refugees arriving by train
The real reason Eddie Redmayne was cast as a trans woman in The Danish Girl
First Look at Bryan Cranston transformed into LBJ for HBO’s ‘All the Way’ film
Idris Elba is ‘too street’ to play 007, says James Bond author
This little boy loves books so much that he cries when his mother stops reading to him
Does this Game of Thrones season 6 filming location give away an important character death?
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 100,000 back our campaign
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up