One Minute With: Jojo Moyes

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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

I'm in my office in Saffron Walden. If I peer out, which I often do because I'm quite nosy, I can see people sitting in a coffee shop below – a source of material!

What are you currently reading?

I've just finished reading Amanda Craig's Hearts and Minds. I don't think there's any other contemporary writer that better describes London.

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

Barbara Kingsolver. She used to write much lower key domestic dramas, before The Poisonwood Bible which were smaller in scale but intensely beautiful. I pore over her sentences. There was one book whose opening paragraph my husband had to listen to three times.

Describe the room where you usually write

My office is basically a whitewashed cupboard. There are two sets of shelves and a small desk. On the wall there are 1960s copies of the Daily Mail to help with what I'm writing.

What distracts you from writing?

The pram in the hall which is the enemy of creativity. My writing life has included the struggle to bring up three children. What I do three or four times a year is take myself off to a hotel room to unblock a problem.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

A cross between Violet from National Velvet and Mog the cat.

What are your readers like when you meet them?

Very nice and completely across the board – men, women, children.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Muhammad Yunus, who set up the Grameen Bank from which women from the Third World can borrow small amounts of money without depending on money lenders. It's led to the microcredit movement.

Jojo Moyes's new novel, 'The Last Letter From Your Lover' is published by Hodder & Stoughton