Luisa Dillner

Luisa Dillner, MD, writes the popular “Love by Numbers” column for London’s Guardian newspaper and international Web site. A medical doctor and the publishing director at the British Medical Journal Publishing Group, she has also written for Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and Elle. She lives in London.

Q & A

Where are you from?
London, UK

Who are your favorite writers?
Shakespeare and Jane Austen

Which book/books have had the biggest influence on your writing?
Look Homeward Angel by Thomas Wolf (not The Bonfire of the Vanities) one and the poems of Edgar Allen Poe although you couldn’t tell because I write nothing like them. I was just everlastingly moved by both writers, both of which my father who came from Chicago introduced me to.

What are your hobbies and outside interests?
I have four children and that and friends just about covers any chance of having any outside interests but I do love the theatre and I have to run or cycle or do something in the way of exercise or I get very crabby. I support a soccer team and have rediscovered classical music. I love reading.

What is the single best piece of advice anyone ever gave you?
My Dad was full of sayings for example “You’re never as dissatisfied with others as when you’re dissatisfied with yourself” which is annoying but usually true. But he was great at saying. “Of course you can do it” to just about anything I tried which is always good advice.

What is your favorite quote?
I don’t have one but it’s a good question and I always like reading everyone else’s. I suppose “No man is an island” is pretty good as is “we are such things as dreams are made of and our little lives are rounded with a sleep.” I haven’t checked it so it might not be quite right.

What is the question most commonly asked by your readers?  What is the answer?
How much sex should I be having? The answer is an individual one.

Where do you write?
In my little office at home which is better than my previous work space hunched over a trunk in my bedroom which gave me a bad back. I can see trees and the garden and urban foxes and the neighbours having summer parties



You Can Count on Cupid

Luisa Dillner, MD

True-love facts about modern dating, marriage, breakups, and makeups, from the Guardian’s popular relationships advice columnistIs love blind—or does Cupid calculate?...