One Minute With: Catherine O'Flynn

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Where are you and what can you see?

I'm on the train near Tyseley station, passing a vast graveyard for wooden pallets. I'm not sure the pallets realise it's a graveyard when they arrive. I can see them at one end, intact and purposeful probably thinking they've been chosen for an important job; then at the other end reduced to an immense pile of sawdust. It's terribly moving.

What are you currently reading?

Fordlandia by Greg Grandin about Henry Ford's attempt to create mythical small-town America in the heart of the Amazon jungle. I think Werner Herzog could have told him how that would end.

Choose a favourite author and say why you like him/her

David Foster Wallace. My husband took Infinite Jest with us when we moved to Spain. It looked insanely intimidating and I avoided it until I'd exhaused every other book I could lay my hands on. I finally picked it up and the next few weeks passed in a blur. He demanded so much from himself as a writer.

Describe the room where you usually write

Books, vinyl records, old magazines, too many chairs, all of which are broken, a card index that will never be used, some posters in Spanish for a Smiths karaoke night.

What distracts you from writing?

Email, the internet, laundry, washing up, being too cold, being too hot, feeling a bit sleepy, wondering if I want a biscuit, spying on squirrels. Those kinds of things.

What fictional character most resembles you?

I'm exactly like Lassie. Exactly.

What are your readers like when you meet them?

Clean and with lovely manners.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Hero might be overstating it, but I'm very glad that Bill Drummond is around.

Catherine O'Flynn's new novel, 'The News Where You Are' is published by Viking

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