Nury Vittachi was born in Sri Lanka and is a long-time resident of Hong Kong. He is the author of comedy-crime novel series The Feng Shui Detective and co-founded the Man Asian Literary Prize, the Hong Kong Literary Festival and the Asia Literary Review.
Why I write
Because I haven’t found anyone who will pay me to veg out on the sofa. Yet. Gimme time.
Do you write every day? If so, how many hours?
I write all my waking hours, even while walking to work, falling into holes, etc. Some of my best chapters have been composed in ditches.
Worst source of distraction?
A friend once set my desk on fire the night before a deadline, but I still made it.
Best source of inspiration?
People with naive, undeveloped, unspoiled minds, like kindergarteners and investment bankers.
How often do you get writers’ block / doubt your own ability?
Never. My ego is so large I can no longer get my head through revolving doors.
Contemporary writer in any medium who you never miss?
Crime writer Elizabeth George.
Favorite Chinese writer?
Best book about China?
Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio by Pu Songling.
Bleak House by Charles Dickens.
The book you should have read but haven’t?
I’m dying to read Inkheart by Cornelia Funke.
You look back at the first thing you had published and think…
I find my early writings unbelievably bad, a bit like my current writings.