Q. Which other EAFOL 2016 participant are you most excited about?
Simon Armitage. I discovered his poetry by listening to Mark Radcliffe’s late evening radio show back in the 1990s and then picked up several of his poetry collections from a book shop in Sheffield which priced books according to how much they weighed. I think I bought all of Simon Armitage’s published poetry at that time for just 50p – a bargain! Recently I’ve really enjoyed his non-fiction writing, especially his memoir Gig. So I’d love the chance to discuss indie music with him.
Oh, and Commander Chris Hadfield. Because he’s an astronaut.
Q. Which book(s) are you reading now?
On the non-fiction front I’ve just started reading Stranger Than We Can Imagine by John Higgs, a fascinating shadow history of the 20th century which draws intriguing connections between developments in art, politics and quantum physics. Next up then will be The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge which I’ve heard so many good things about.
Q. Which literary character would you invite to dinner? And why?
Sherlock Holmes. And then I’d stage a dinner party reenactment of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None to see if he can solve the mystery in time…
Q. There have been some interesting additions to the dictionary over the years. Which word would you remove?
I think just removing a single word is too timid. Let’s get rid of a whole letter’s worth of words. I nominate every word that begins with the letter ‘R’.
Q. Who would write/ illustrate the story of your life?
To misquote Belle and Sebastian, ‘Nobody would write it the way I want it so it may as well be me.’ And I’d quite like Matt Saunders to do the illustrations as he created such a brilliant cover for The Many Worlds of Albie Bright.