The 5-Minute Interview: Irvine Welsh, Author

'I couldn't write so much if I was intoxicated all the time...'
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The Independent Online

Irvine Welsh, 49, the author of 'Trainspotting', has published eight novels as well as numerous short stories and plays. His collection of short stories 'Liked School, You'll Love Work', was published by Cape last month; his latest novel 'The Bedroom Secrets of the Master Chefs', published by Vintage, is released on paperback today

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be...

Eating at leisure and enjoying this big piece of steak that the hotel I'm in sent up for me - I had to wolf it down instead. I might even be in the bar.

A phrase I use far too often is...

I talk about carbohydrates a lot: "carbohydrates are killing us", or "you're killing yourself with those carbohydrates."

A common misperception of me is...

That I'm intoxicated all the time. I couldn't write so much if I was. I get confused for the characters in my books.

I wish people would take more notice of...

Really great music. It's under-appreciated which is so tragic because it can be transcendental. There are so many great bands and people still listen to that dreary Coldplay crap.

The most surprising thing that happened to me was...

I've had quite a few surprises. I was drinking a bottle of whisky on the bus once and then I woke up in hospital.

The whisky didn't do it - the bus got blown over. In fact, the whisky probably saved my life.

I'm good at...

I'm a fantastic lover and I'm highly intelligent.

I'm very bad at...

Being sycophantic and picking up awards. I'm not that good at self-promotion. I should be better. I like a quiet life but then you have to resurface for this kind of thing.

I am not a politician but if I were...

I would make Britain into a republic with devolved regional government.

The monarchy and the House of Lords is a waste of money. Bang goes the OBE.

The ideal night out is...

Going out with my wife to see a really good movie and then going to a good restaurant - maybe somewhere French. Good food, good wine, and then we'd head back home for a cosy night in.

In moments of weakness I...

Succumb. I've got certain things that I allow myself to give into.

In another life I'd have been...

A Bollywood starlet, an astronaut, a football player or a cowboy.

The best age to be is...

Twenty-six. You've got that concept of your mortality but you're also still young. You're savvy but you can still go for it. And I always prefer the even to the odd years.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is...

To try and get away with as much as you can without hurting anybody else.

Alice-Azania Jarvis

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