One Minute With: Jess Richards, novelist


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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

In a yellow kitchen looking at a pot plant that's trying hard to flower in November.

What are you currently reading?

'The Woman in White'.

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

Just one? That's harsh. My favourite will be different next week. At the moment it's both Neil Gaiman and Philip Pullman, because they write imaginative books and were recently on the radio, heroically talking about fairytales.

Describe the room where you usually write

I write in a corner, sitting crammed between a bookshelf and a table. The table is covered in notepads, a miniature grandmother, candles, a fringed lamp, and a set of comedy wind-up teeth.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

A grown-up version of Alice in Wonderland: on some days I feel big and others I feel small. Sometimes I'm a version of Peter Pan, chasing my shadow. Cats grin and roses would look interesting if their petals were dripping with paint.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

All of the historically blurry female pirates.

Jess Richards's 'Snake Ropes' (Sceptre) is shortlisted for the Costa First Novel award