David Nobbs was a British novelist and television writer who died last year. He is most famous for a novel called The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, published in the mid-70s, which was made into a TV sitcom that became so successful it sadly eclipsed the reputation of the original novel. In this book he created a kind of mixture of melancholy and satire which was very influential on my own work. He also found a kind of poetry, as well as wild comedy, in the mundane details of British suburban life. He wrote 17 novels in all, and we became good friends in the last few years of his life.
I find music to be a good way of expressing my characters' deepest feelings - the ones that are hard to verbalise. Whether it is Rosamond in The Rain Before It Falls, or Benjamin in The Rotters' Club, my characters often have a piece of music which symbolises and reminds them of the most important experiences in their lives. Music has always been important to me and I would rather have been a composer than a writer but I didn't have the talent. Nevertheless you can now hear some of my own music if you do a search for my name on bandcamp.com