One Minute With: Ronald Frame

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

I'm in a suburban family house in Glasgow. I'm sitting with my back to the window. I can see trees and hedges reflected in a picture frame.

What are you currently reading?

Martin Stannard's biography of Muriel Spark: we shared two editors. Stannard says she "wrote young". I think this is what you always have to do – to retain that curiosity about the world. And when you grow up in Scotland, Jean Brodie captures a certain form of life so exactly.

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

I'm very fond of Truman Capote... Breakfast at Tiffany's is such a subtle and clever book, with a balance between worldliness and innocence, but done unselfconsciously.

Describe the room where you usually write

It doesn't really matter – I live in the imagination.

What distracts you from writing?

Other people's noise – other people's inconsiderateness. I'm a little better now about not objecting to other people's mobile phone calls... but nothing is remotely secret any more.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

I'm dignifying myself, but Proust's narrator: faceless; an outsider; an obsessive; waiting for an invitation to life's most glamorous parties.

What are your readers like when you meet them?

One tends to meet more women, maybe because they attend festivals more than men. I'm always touched that people have given you something very precious: their time.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Stephen Sondheim. I sometimes think that I would have given up writing all these books if I could have written one good song.

Ronald Frame's new novel is 'Unwritten Secrets' (Telegram).