One Minute With: Terry Pratchett, fantasy novelist


Where are you now and what can you see?

I am sitting in the W [hotel] in Seattle and I can see Rob [Pratchett's assistant] just beyond a lovely fluffy omelette and those delightful little potatoes they serve.

What are you currently reading?

For about the fifteenth time, 'London Labour and the London Poor' by Henry Mayhew, and I am looking forward to its arrival on my Kindle.

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

A favourite since my teens has been the late Paul Jennings, who used to have a slot in the 'Observer'. I think I admire him because of the curious lopsided but delightful way he looked at the world.

Describe the room where you usually write

The Chapel. Once a stone stable, now renovated with stone floors, a mezzanine for the games computer so work and play can be kept apart. A lot of thought went into its design because I spend so much of my life there. Known as the Chapel not because of its huge mullion window but because of rumours there was once a chapel somewhere on our property.

What distracts you from writing?

Everybody. It's a very unusual day that isn't more or less shredded by demands on my time. In my heart I ought to be home writing, but the rest of my body is doing the US tour for 'Snuff', the latest Discworld book.

What fictional character most resembles you?

James Dixon as in 'Lucky Jim' by Kingsley Amis. Failing that, Rincewind [from Discworld].

What are your readers like when you meet them?

Far less strange than journalists would have you imagine. One who stopped me for my autograph this morning was an airline pilot.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Kneejerk? Nelson Mandela. But I like the guys who change the world from their sheds, like James Dyson and Clive Sinclair.

Terry Pratchett's latest Discworld novel, 'Snuff', is published by Doubleday

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