The Signs of Life author on the highs and lows of 2012's literature and sport.


2012: A year in books

What is your favourite Picador book ever?

Difficult Loves by Italo Calvino - I bought it at a bookshop at Carlisle train station and missed four trains because I was reading it so intently. It's not the best book I ever read but I never missed more trains for a book than this one. 

What is the book that was most over-rated (fairly or unfairly)?
Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig - great title, the novel is waaay too long though. It's over-rated.

What was your favourite cultural event of the year?

The Olympics - is this a trick question?

Who is your hero of the year?

Jessica Ennis

Who is your villain of the year?

Lance Armstrong - what a charmer.

Where do you write?

Kitchen table, desk, trains, airplanes.

Can you give one piece of advice to people wanting to become a writer?

Find something you really, really like in your own writing. It doesn't have to be big. If you can't, keep churning out drafts and sentences and ideas until you do, and when you do, even if it's only half a sentence, follow that and you'll find your voice.

Do you read on paper or ebook?