Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d love to be better at playing the violin. I do play a bit and can more or less get through a couple of tunes, but I have this vague fantasy of one day joining a Celtic string band and that’s just not going to happen at my current skill level.
What is your most treasured possession?
I have a signed copy of Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography. Bruce’s music has been hugely influential to me, and his book is basically a guide to balancing commitment to your art with being a well-rounded person – it meant a lot to me when I first read it and having a signed copy is pretty special.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Any day where you’ve read something good, watched something good, and written something good. If you can cap it off with a couple of drinks and laughs with good friends, then there really isn’t a lot better.
What is your motto?
Busy is better than bored.
How would you like to die?
It’s a cliché, but if I can fall asleep at home having just finished a good book then I’d consider myself pretty lucky.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what would it be?
I’m perpetually jealous of dogs. They just find so much pleasure in all the stuff we take for granted. Either a dog, or a dinosaur.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Modesty – it’s almost always false and there’s nothing wrong with being proud of your achievements. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking those achievements somehow make you special.
What is your current state of mind?
With the book having just come out, I’m see-sawing between exhilarated and terrified on a daily basis. But hey, it’s keeping me on my toes and I think it’s teaching me to enjoy the now and stop worrying so much about the future.