I think reality is over-rated,' he said in the hope that this might come across as dark and charismatic.

David Nicholls

David Nicholls

Profession: Novelist
Nationality: British

Some suggestions for you :

I love Billy Wilder, and I love the way that his films can be very touching and very moving and very romantic, and at the same time there's always a little cynical undertone, there's always something that undercuts things.

What must that be like? To be admired before you've even said a word, to be desired two or three hundred times a day by people who have absolutely no idea what you're like?

If I could give you just one gift ever for the rest of your life it would be this. Confidence. It would be the gift of Confidence. Either that or a scented candle.

She liked to ‘leave dishes to soak', an act of self-deception that I've always abhorred.

I think reality is over-rated.

And by the time the train pulls into the station, I find myself actually relieved that Emily's only a figment of my imagination.

Of course you should study whatever you want. The written appreciation and understanding of literature, or any kind of artistic endeavour, is absolutely central to a decent society. Why d'you think books are the first things that the fascists burn?

These days grief seems like walking on a frozen river; most of the time he feels safe enough, but there is always that danger that he will plunge through. Now he hears the ice creak beneath him, and so intense and panicking is the sensation that he has to stand for a moment, press his hands to his face and catch his breath.

Sometimes, when it is going badly, she wonders if what she believes to be a love of the written word is really just a fetish for stationary.

She shouldn't speak her thoughts; nothing good ever came of speaking your thoughts.

I'm inclined to think that, after a certain age, our tastes, instincts and inclinations harden like concrete.

I still find it absurdly difficult to concentrate on a novel if there's a phone or computer to hand; I have taken to locking them outside the room like noisy pets.

The trick of it, she told herself, is to be courageous and bold and make a difference. Not change the world exactly, just the bit around you.

He's wearing his official university sweatshirt again, which puzzles me a little. I mean I'd sort of understand it more if it said Yale or Harvard or something, because then it would be a fashion choice. But why advertise the fact that you're at a university to all the other people who are at the university with you?