Where are you now?
My parents’ house in Hampstead, north London.
Where and when do you do most of your writing?
At a desk or kitchen table wherever I am living.
If you have one, what is your pre-writing ritual?
I set the timer for 180 minutes on a program called SelfControl which blocks most of the internet.
Full-time or part-time?
Pen or keyboard?
Keyboard. I’ve forced myself to use a pen a few times but I can’t get very far.
How do you relax when you’re writing?
If absolutely necessary, a Bloody Mary.
How would you pitch your latest book in up to 25 words?
It’s an international conspiracy thriller about going out and getting drunk and falling in love in south London.
Who do you write for?
Who do you share your work in progress with?
Which literary character do you wish you created?
Share with us your favourite line/s of dialogue, poetry or prose.
“I don’t know. And there is nothing to guide us. And if everything is so nebulous about a matter so elementary as the morals of sex, what is there to guide us in the more subtle morality of all other personal contacts, associations, and activities? Or are we meant to act on impulse alone? It is all a darkness.”
– The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford
Which book do you wish you’d written?
Anything by China Mieville.
Which book/s have you most recently read and enjoyed?
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath, Duveen by S.N. Behrman, The Fish That Ate the Whale by Rich Cohen, The Girls of Slender Means by Muriel Spark, Picked-Up Pieces by John Updike.
What’s on your bedside table or e-reader?
Undercover: Memoirs of an American Secret Agent by E. Howard Hunt, Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying by James M. Olson, The Prisoner and The Fugitive by Marcel Proust, Being No One: The Self-Model Theory of Subjectivity by Thomas Metzinger, Tropical Nature: Life and Death in the Rain Forests of Central and South America by Adrian Forsyth and Ken Miyata.
Which books do you feel you ought to have read but haven’t yet?
Tristram Shandy, Paradise Lost, Jane Eyre, The Man Without Qualities.
Which book/s do you treasure the most?
The Good Soldier, The Heart of the Matter, The Great Gatsby, Labyrinths.
What is the last work you read in translation?
Which story collections would you particularly recommend?
Borges, Dick, Lovecraft, Barthelme.
What will you read next?
Bernard Shaw: His Life and Personality by Hesketh Pearson.
What are you working on next?
An essay about my grandfather for a radio programme.
Imagine you’re the host of a literary supper, who would your dinner guests be (living or dead, real or fictional)?
John Updike and Batman.
If you weren’t writing you’d be…?
Ned Beauman was born in London in 1985 and lives in London and New York. His debut novel Boxer, Beetle was shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award and the Desmond Elliott Prize and won the UK Writers’ Guild Award and the Goldberg Prize for Outstanding Debut Fiction. His second, The Teleportation Incident, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Premio Gregor von Rezzori and won the Encore Award and a Somerset Maugham Award. Following its publication he was named one of Granta‘s Best of Young British Novelists. His third novel, Glow, is now published by Sceptre in hardback and eBook. Read more.
Author portrait © Lea Golda Holterman