One Minute With: Jodi Picoult, novelist

Where are you now and what can you see? I'm in Hyde Park, in London, and I can see the Serpentine Gallery. I got here [Britain] two days ago and the fact that I know where I am is amazing.

What are you currently reading? John Grisham's 'The Confession'. I think he's a great legal writer. It's about the death penalty and is so fascinating for me to read as I've written about it too.

Choose a favourite author and say why you like her/him Alice Hoffman because she can write about love like no-one else. My favourite book by her is 'Turtle Moon' but even a bad Alice Hoffman book is almost better than anyone else's. Her books didn't make me a writer but as an adult reader they gave me my first fan moment.

Describe the room where you usually write It's in the attic and it's the only room in our house [in New Hampshire, America] that was not finished until last year. So now I have a beautiful space to write; the walls are lavender, there is a birdseye maple table and a beautiful stained-glass panel that my husband found. When I go up there now I feel an extra pressure to be productive.

What distracts you from writing? My children and any music.

Which fictional character most resembles you? I'm a nice combination of Elizabeth Bennet and Scarlett O'Hara – someone who is opinionated and knows what she wants.

What are your readers like when you meet them? Fantastic; the most loyal, devoted, enthusiastic, smart group of people, aged 11 to 98.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature? My son, Jake, who had 13 surgeries as a child because of tumours in his ears. He has compromised hearing but in spite of this, he is a beautiful tenor singer. To have so much against him and to see what he has achieved at17 is amazing for me.

Jodi Picoult's 'Sing You Home' is published by Hodder & Stoughton