From interviews, photos and his novels themselves I had picked up an impression of the author as a fat old curmudgeon. Fat and old he may be, but I was wrong about his personality; he seemed utterly charming and laughed a lot. Like Douglas Coupland, he wasn't very good at reading his own work, but very engaging when he talked about it. And like Coupland, he's very enthusiastic about the times we live in - though he writes about them in a far darker style.
When I was getting my book signed, I asked him the burning question I'd been too shy to pose in front of a hall full of people: Aircraft, particularly light aircraft, are a recurring motif in his writing and he's clearly a chap who likes his planes, so what is his favourite aeroplane?
He said Stearmans and Tiger Moths. A man after my own heart.