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One Minute With: Cathi Unsworth, novelist

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Where are you now and what can you see?

 I'm in my office where I work in my day-job. I can see some clouds, the tops of trees, some seagulls.

What are you currently reading?

Ruth Ramsden's 'Blue Murder at the Pink Parrot', an amusing tale of murder and debauchery on the East Sussex coast… I've just finished 'How I Killed Margaret Thatcher' by Anthony Cartwright, which is splendid.

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

[Thriller writer] Derek Raymond: meeting him changed my life. He always said that he didn't write "crime" but "black" novels that explored our capacity for good and evil.

Describe the room where you usually write

My front room [in west London]. I look out onto a little front garden.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

When I was young I loved 'The Wickedest Witch in the World' by Beverley Nichols. I was very enamoured of it. [The witch] was about 100 years old but could make herself look 25...

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Johnny Rotten. I think that a lot of things changed for women because of punk and his influence.

Cathi Unsworth's new novel is 'Weirdo' (Serpent's Tail).