Greg Stekelman was born in London in 1975. He studied English and Spanish at the University of Leeds, before returning to London to engage in a series of low-paying jobs. He started his website, themanwhofellasleep in 2001, and in 2006 his first novel, A Year in The Life of TheManWhoFellAsleep, was published. Greg blogs at TheManWhoFellAsleep's Inevitable Blog.
Why do you blog? > I don't really blog much, per se. My blog is an extension of my website. When I started my website back in 2001, there weren't many blogs and if you wanted a voice on the net, you had to learn a bit of HTML and actually do something creative with it – rather than just telling the world what you had for lunch. In many ways I'm still uncertain about blogging, because I'm yet to really find my own voice. I'm used to hiding behind an alter ego. All of the writing on my website, particularly in the journal, is in character, and I tend to suspect that people are more interested in the fantasy world of themanwhofellasleep than in me. The Wizard of Oz is more interesting than a small man pulling levers in a north London bedroom.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Getting a book deal and publishing a novel.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > The usual crap.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Write often and let others judge if it's any good or not.
What are your favourite blogs? > The Big Green Bookshop, because they sell my book, and because Simon and Tim are lovely fellows - they run a bookshop in Wood Green, where most shops either sell kebabs or baseball caps. The Secret Life of a Manic Depressive, which is my friend Seaneen writing very asutely about mental health issues, and Emma Kennedy, who is a comedy writer and actress whose blog is always entertaining.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Jorge Luis Borges, Patrick McGoohan, Grant Morrison. Woody Allen before he stopped being funny or interesting.
What is your favourite poem? > 'Days' by Philip Larkin.
What is your favourite movie? > Either The Apartment or Rushmore. But I'm trying to force myself to watch new films, rather than the same things over and over. I take part in a few film pub quizzes, so I need to keep in shape.
What is your favourite song? > It changes every day. I don't think that songs are monolithic objects that stay the same over time. One day a song can move you, and the next day it leaves you cold.
Who is your favourite composer? > Stephen Jones of Babybird for his five lo-fi albums. In terms of classical music, I'm fairly ignorant, although my mother points me in the direction of things she thinks I'll like.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > The Divided Self by R.D. Laing made me have a good think about my own mind, and the nature of psychosis and self-delusion.
If you could choose anyone, from any walk of life, to be Prime Minister, who would you choose? > I think Steve Coppell would probably do quite a good job. He's fairly joyless, but that's no bad thing.
What would you do with the UN? > I'd add bunting.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Idiots of all persuasions. I am often shocked and depressed by the sheer number of idiots in the world, and how much power they wield.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > I think that as time passes there are constant trade-offs between what we gain and what we lose. But I'd like to think the best is still to come.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Be true to yourself. Don't live a life that makes you unhappy.
Do you think you could ever be married to, or in a long-term relationship with, someone with radically different political views from your own? > Yes, as long as they secretly acknowledged that I was right.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Kindness.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > In order to make life easier.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > Plenty. I think that we all carry around loads of prejudices, about everything from class or gender to sexual orientation, race or religion. The British media is hysterically politically correct, but everyone makes mistakes. We have to try our best, but no one is perfect. I think there's a tendency to accuse others to cover up our own sins.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Almost everything. From leaving the house to losing my hair.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > Yes. I would do lots of things differently.
What would you call your autobiography? > Collected Complaints.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > Chico Marx. It would be me as a Jewish Italian caricature in black and white. I'd play the piano a lot.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > New York. I haven't been there since I was 17, but I remember feeling like I was in a very good movie. Or Buenos Aires, which is where my father was born and lives.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Killing time. Watching films, surfing the net, letting random strangers know what I'm currently doing via various status updates on facebook and twitter.
What is your most treasured possession? > Various books and comics. Aside from the obvious stuff like my health, and the wellbeing of friends and family.
What talent would you most like to have? > I'd like to have some musical talent. I'm extremely jealous of anyone who can sing or play an instrument.
Which English Premiership football team do you support? > Spurs. For my sins. I also support Boca Juniors in Argentina, who win a lot more trophies than Spurs do.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I would build myself an ivory tower.
[The normblog profile is a weekly Friday morning feature. A list of all the profiles to date, and the links to them, can be found here.]