Where are you now and what can you see?
I'm at home in Virginia, I'm standing between my bedroom and the room in which I work, and I can see trees blooming out of the window.
What are you currently reading?
China Miéville's 'Kraken'. I loved 'The City & The City', although this one is a little sillier. I've just finished 'The Moral Lives of Animals' by Dale Peterson.
Choose a favourite author and say why you like her/him
If I were to go back to my teen years, I would say Joseph Conrad. I loved his themes connected to the sea and to adventure and I recognised, even as a kid, that this was amazing writing.
Describe the room where you usually write
It's a room with a desk and a couch and it's a disgusting mess. Today is one of the days I have got to get things together, but each item that I pick up to throw away or file demands attention first - a bill to pay, a letter I never answered. I can't do it.
What distracts you from writing?
The drama and distractions of mundane life.
Which fictional character most resembles you?
I don't identify with one character but I do identify with male characters. It used to be the case that when female characters were brought into a story, something made me uncomfortable that I now know to be sexism in the way they were presented.
What are your readers like when you meet them?
A pretty motley bunch. It's always been interesting to me how diverse their social class is. A lot get my books from the library.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
While I was working on 'Blood Rites', I discovered that I admire not only pacificists - Gandhi, Cindy Sheehan, etc - but also warriors, especially the old-fashioned kind who still depended on human muscle and skill.
Barbara Ehrenreich's 'Blood Rites' is published by Granta