One Minute With...Duncan Fallowell, Travel writer

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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see? I'm looking through the leaded window of a very old kitchen onto a lawn of daisies with a cider orchard beyond.

What are you currently reading? 'Essays On Ancient Fiction' by Elizabeth Haight. I've just re-read Lawrence Durrell's 'Justine' - adored it first time round. What a flabby disappointment.

Choose a favourite author and say why you admire her/him I love any writer who brings something new to the art. I was staggered to discover some years ago what a genius Colette was. I'd imagined her as "girlie writing" and not bothered. When I read her, it was a revelation. She's far more manly than most male writers... courageous and concise. And more contemporary than any living female author.

Describe the room where you usually write Journalism in town, usually in my cramped, neurotic Notting Hill flat. The writing of books in the countryside or at seaside, ideally on a huge dining-table which is empty except for a writing pad and fountain pen.

What distracts you from writing? My erotic life. And the better the writing, the randier I get. Nothing is more thrilling after a vivid head-trip than to go out around, say, 5pm and find a wonderful body to grapple with.

What fictional character most resembles you? Oh, I identify with all of them. I am so weak and easily led.

What are your readers like when you meet them? I am always astonished to discover that anyone has read a book of mine - this makes me interested in whoever it happens to be.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature? I've not had heroes and heroines since becoming an adult. But I do have muses... My muses are always disconnected from literature and must possess strong pagan characteristics - any form of piety appalls me. They must also be very intelligent. They are invariably mischievous - which can be a nightmare.

Duncan Fallowell's 'How to Disappear: a memoir for misfits' is published by Ditto

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