Q: What was your favourite childhood book?
Q: Which book has made you laugh?
BV:In adulthood, PG Wodehouse’s Golf Omnibus - a perpetual delight.
Q: Which book has made you cry?
BV:I was greatly moved by Arthur & George, by Julian Barnes
Q: Which book would you give to a friend as a present?
BV:Probably one of my own, signed. Otherwise, the last book I gave as a present was Decca - The Letters of Jessica Mitford.
Q: Which other writers do you admire?
BV: Of contemporary writers, Philip Roth, Tom Wolfe, William Boyd, Robert Harris, Clive James, Simon Winchester, Bill Bryson, Nick Hornby, Anne Tyler.
Q: Which classic have you always meant to read and never got round to it?
BV: Our Mutual Friend
Q: What are your top five books of all time, in order or otherwise?
BV: In terms of their impact on me at various stages of my life: Animal Farm, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Canterbury Tales, Martin Chuzzlewit, Bonfire of the Vanities.
Q: Is there a particular book or author that inspired you to be a writer?
BV: No, but there are many to whom I turn for inspiration now, when I’m feeling intellectually sluggish. The collected newspaper columns of Hugh McIlvanney and Clive James, for example.
Q: What is your favourite time of day to write?
BV: Whenever my three children are at school or in bed.
Q: And favourite place?
BV: My office, which looks over 40 miles of Herefordshire countryside to the
Q: Longhand or word processor?
BV: Apple Mac
Q: Which fictional character would you most like to have met?
Q: Who, in your opinion, is the greatest writer of all time?
BV: PG Wodehouse.
Q: Which book have you found yourself unable to finish?
BV: Nostromo, by Joseph Conrad
Q: What is your favourite word?
Q: Other than writing, what other jobs or professions have you undertaken or considered?
BV: In my teens I briefly fancied becoming a barrister.
Q: What was the first piece you ever had in print?
BV: An interview with the then-manager of Everton FC, Howard Kendall, serialised over three weeks in the Bootle Times in 1985.
Q: Can you think of a question that we didn't ask you?
BV: Which book would you like to have written?
Q: What would the answer be?
BV: Fever Pitch.