IFOA: If you could be teleported anywhere right now, where and when would you go, and why?
Beauman: I wish I was attending Frieze Art Fair in London. I can’t really justify the flight from Istanbul, because I have nothing to do with the art world, although like many novelists I am always looking for a way to wheedle my way in.
IFOA: There’s been a lot of talk about the fact that you were longlisted for the Man Booker Prize at age 27. Tell us, what’s age got to do with it?
Beauman: I’d like to make a remark here about how I wouldn’t even have been the youngest person ever to made it to the shortlist. But that would make it easy to infer that I’d gone to the effort to check that on Wikipedia. So I had better move on.
IFOA: You’ve been writing since you were a child. What was the subject of the first story you remember writing?
Beauman: I don’t remember. The first story I got published, in a university creative writing magazine, was a sort of Pale Fire knock-off in the form of a DVD director’s commentary on a bad film, also inspired by some of Jeff Alexander and Tom Bissell’s similar pieces on the McSweeney’s website.
IFOA: What are your favourite and least favourite words—today, at least?
Beauman: Favourite: “simit”, because it’s one of the Turkish words that I can remember. Least favourite: “afedersiniz”, because it isn’t.
IFOA: Finish this sentence: The Internet is…
IFOA: Bonus question: This year’s International Festival of Authors in one word…