One Minute With: Val McDermid, crime novelist
Friday 17 September 2010
Where are you now and what can you see?
I'm sitting at my office at home in Northumberland, looking out at the garden and the sky. It's the converted tack-room of a stable.
What are you currently reading?
'The Radleys' by Matt Haig. I like his work: there's something that cheers you up about it.
Choose a favourite writer and say why you like her/him
Peter Temple. He's one of the select band of crime writers who does it so well that he sets the bar really high. He puts us all on our mettle. The fact that he won the Miles Franklin Award [in Australia] should put an end the "Is it proper literature?" argument abourt crime fiction.
Decsribe the room where you usually write
It's this study, around 12 by 12, with walls about two feet thick, high ceilings, skylights and two windows. On the wall I have a copy of [Scottish artist] Stephen Conroy's painting, 'Healing of a Lunatic Boy'. It's mysterious and has an unexplained quality.
What distracts you from writing?
Anything. On a micro-level, "I need to go to the shop and buy a new pencil". On a macro-level, travel.
Which fictional character most resembles you?
My answer to that for some reason causes mirth: James Bond. The easy swagger, the success with women, the ability to juggle different tasks. I mean the Sean Connery Bond, of course – with the accent.
What are your readers like when you meet them?
People email you with... details that you got wrong. Face to face, they are so delighted to meet you that all the carping bits fall away. That's what keeps you going on the bad days, when it feels like carving granite with a teaspoon. It's a huge privilege.
Who is your hero/ heroine from outside literature?
I adored, and still miss, my Dad. He was a working-class guy who loved football and his family, and was the life and soul of the party. He was a good man, who encouraged me to be the best I could be.
Val McDermid's 'Trick of the Dark' is published by Little, Brown
Maisie Williams single-handedly rises to the challengeTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
- 3 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 4 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
Heavy metal producer's corpse to be mutilated by models as per his dying wish
The Jump 2015 line-up: Joey Essex, Phil Tufnell, Heather Mills and co take to the slopes
Game of Thrones: Grey Worm actor Jacob Anderson is all for more male nudity – as long as he can keep his clothes on
Angelina Jolie confirms retirement from acting: 'I've never been comfortable on-screen'
Roald Dahl letter warning student to 'eschew beastly adjectives' goes viral 35 years later
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures