One Minute With: Erica James, novelist
Friday 31 December 2010
Where are you now and what can you see?
Right now I'm in Italy at Lake Como. I have an apartment directly overlooking the lake, and that's what I see when I look out of my windows, that, and the snowy mountains.
What are you currently reading?
I've just finished reading a book called The Trouble with Alex by Melanie Allen. Lionel Shriver, who wrote We Need to Talk about Kevin, had described it as a real-life version of what she had made up. It's a chilling account of a family close to meltdown following the adoption of a girl with special needs.
Choose a favourite author and say why you admire her/him?
It's almost an impossible task, but if forced I'd say Agatha Christie. Having written a mere 15 novels – compared to her 75 – I'm in awe of such output and the enduring quality of her work.
Describe the room where you usually write
When I'm in Italy I write at a desk that is deliberately placed so that I have my back to the view. There are framed photos of my sons placed either side of my computer.
What distracts you from writing?
Very little distracts me when I'm writing, I'm scarily focused and single-minded. Having said that, the desire to read a really good book can at times lure me away.
Which fictional character most resembles you?
Mary Poppins. Because, as anyone will tell you, I am practically perfect! Joking, of course.
What are your readers like when you meet them?
They're always incredibly friendly and chatty. But often surprised by how small I am.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
Olga Korbut. I was 12 years old when I watched her compete in the 1972 Olympics and was spellbound. She astounded everyone by doing a back somersault on the beam – it had never been done before – and it made me want to be a gymnast.
'Promises, Promises' by Erica James is published by Orion
An enlightening finale for Don DraperTV
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 JK Rowling horrified by Harry Potter actor Matthew Lewis's raunchy photoshoot
- 2 As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
- 3 Saudi Arabia 'seeking to head United Nations Human Rights Council'
- 4 Georgia Army veteran arrested for breaking window to save dog has charges dropped
- 5 New Zealand 'the best country to work as a prostitute', says sex worker advocacy group
Cannes Film Festival rejects women from red-carpet screening of pro-LGBT romance 'Carol' for not wearing high heels
Game of Thrones rape scene criticised as 'disgusting' by US senator Claire McCaskill who says she's 'done' with show
Beyonce angers fans by pouring expensive champagne into hot tub in Nicki Minaj 'Feeling Myself' video
Mad Men, TV review: Perfect harmony? Not quite, but an enlightening finale for Don Draper
Love, Cannes film review: Visceral brilliance sets Gasper Noé drama apart from standard porn
Scotland may have to leave the EU even if it votes to stay in, David Cameron confirms
Report finds that Britain's wages are the most unequal in Europe
As a white man, I'm surprised more women aren't tweeting the hashtag #KillAllWhiteMen
Almost a third of school pupils believe 'Muslims are taking over our country', study claims
Labour leadership: Battle lines are drawn as members battle over party's ideology at first hustings of the contest
Gay marriage 'Bert and Ernie' cake bakery found guilty of discrimination in Northern Ireland