Neil Cross

Neil Cross is the author of several novels including Always the Sun and Burial, as well as the bestselling memoir Heartland. He has been lead scriptwriter for the two most recent seasons of the acclaimed BBC spy drama series Spooks and continues to write widely for the screen.

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My Life in 8 Words

Author Revealed

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. I can't imagine ever being in a position where I might need one, or could use one without looking like an imbecile.  "A guilty conscience needs to confess," you say. "A work of art is a confession." You think you sound like Dorothy Parker, but actually you sound like the windy old buffoon you so patently are. I wouldn't mind having my own catchphrase, though, if I could only think of one that wouldn't get on my family's nerves after about five minutes. So it would probably be - "I'll put the kettle on, shall I?", or; "Yes, you can play on the Wii."

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

A. Yossarian, Indiana Jones, David Tenant's Dr Who.

Q. With whom in history do you most identify?

A. That's a dangerous game to start playing. I don't identify with (or even slightly resemble) any of my many heroes. It worries me that, because I've never had cause to be brave, I might lack the capacity. So I most identify with the scum and the cowards, fearing that, but for an accident of history, I'd be walking amongst them.

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?

A. "tea", "cup", "kettle" and "that bloody dog."

Q. What do you regret most?

A. In order for me to be right here, right now, everything that ever happened had to happen exactly the way it happened. Change one factor, change everything. That's not New Age balderdash, it's chaos theory - it's life. I very much like where I am now, so how can I regret anything?

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