'When the rest of Wexford was divided into Mods and Rockers, my brother had me listening to Kate Bush'
I have a new favourite book every week, sometimes twice a week. My current favourite for at least the next three days is 'Books To Die For', edited by John Connolly and Declan Burke.
It's a collection of essays by crime authors on their favourite books. All the greats are in there, from the two Johns (Banville and Connolly) to my heroes Colin Bateman and Ken Bruen, and somehow I snuck in at the end.
My favourite CD is my younger brother Niall's first album, 'Finds'. I know what you're thinking – 'Oh he would say that, wouldn't he?' and fair enough, I would. But that doesn't mean that it isn't great. Track to download: 'Blind Eye.'
I remember my wife and I dressing up as teens for Halloween. She was Catwoman and I was the Artful Dodger.
I don't remember the link between those two characters, but it was tenuous at best. When times are tough, I close my eyes and remember that costume.
Favourite piece of furniture
When I did 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy' sequel, Fritz Hansen produced 42 special Hitchhiker Egg chairs, designed by Wexford designer Emily Maher. She did an amazing job and I got to keep number 42, and I know I don't have to explain the significance of that.
My desk is a joint favourite as it is an amazing piece of furniture which was designed by my architect brother Donal.
Favourite item of clothing
I do like a nice quirky watch, if that counts as clothing, and for years I was sniffing around the internet for a Ventura digital one because, to paraphrase Douglas Adams, Earthlings think digital watches are something special.
I finally found one last year and it is even nicer than I thought it would be and worth more than any Rolex in my eyes.
I am allergic to dust, but I have a mental allergy to queueing. I hate standing in line, especially when somebody is holding it up.
I go nuts at parking machines when someone puts in their ticket then acts all surprised that they have to pay.
meant the most
My older brother Paul was my guru growing up. His tastes in music were remarkable for a 1970s youth in Ireland. When the rest of Wexford was divided into Mods and Rockers camps, Paul had me listening to Kate Bush and Lou Reed.
The first album Paul ever bought was 'Parallel Lines' by Blondie. After that, I trusted in his wisdom.
what advice would you give your 16-year-old self?
Stop being such a smart arse. People do not like smart arses. I used to think that when I destroyed someone in an argument that they would grudgingly respect me, but one day someone destroyed me in an argument and I realised that I did not respect that person in the least.
what characteristic in yourself do you like the most and least?
I like my ability to structure my day and stick to the plan. This is very important when you write for a living, as no one is going to make you do it.
I don't like my difficulty remembering names. I can meet people a dozen times and am still not able to place them.
Thank goodness for nametags at receptions.
A nice glass of rosé with a few ice cubes with a summer lunch – not an Irish summer, obviously.