One minute with: Catherine O'Flynn, novelist


Where are you now and what can you see?

I'm at my desk, in the room at the top of my house. I can see the retired man from down the road cycling up the street. This is a constant. Everytime I look out of the window I see him on his bike, smiling serenely. It's obviously a sign, but I don't know what it means. It's like the lumber truck in Twin Peaks.

What are you currently reading?

The Infatuations by Javier Marias.

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

Kurt Vonnegut – I admire him for his tenderness, anger, humanity and humour.

Describe the room where you usually write

It's a big loft room. I sit at the window and watch the comings and goings in the road, mainly the old, possibly imaginary man on bike. When there's not enough to distract me in the street, I pretend to forget I have a kettle and toaster up here and wonder down to the kitchen.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

Somedays Sergeant Wilson, somedays Captain Mainwaring.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

David Bowie, 1970-83.

Catherine O'Flynn's latest novel, 'Mr Lynch's Holiday', is published by Viking