One Minute With: Julie Myerson, author

Where are you now and what can you see?

I'm sitting at the desk in my study [in south London]. On my left I can see trees and a bit of a church, and in front of me my tabby cat is sleeping on the sofa.

What are you currently reading?

'Reservation Road' by John Burnham Schwartz, as I'm about to review his new novel, 'Northwest Corner'. It's very compelling, and the kind of book I love: it's all about how a family responds to a tragedy.

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

Jim Crace. He's such a writer's writer: he takes risks, and pushes boundaries. I find him very exciting to read, and deeply inspiring. He has a streak of genius. But I don't think that he has had the acclaim that he deserves.

Describe the room where you usually write

In London, I have a beautiful study. But the room I've written the most books in is the little back bedroom of our house in Suffolk. It's the messy room, where people tend to dump things.

What distracts you from writing?

I can't write if I'm worried about my family. Then I feel I should be fixing things.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

The only character in fiction I've ever come across who's at all like me is from 'The River' by Rumer Godden. It's about a little girl called Harriet who wants to be a writer.

What are your readers like when you meet them?

Wonderful – so generous and kind. You never get tired of finding out that people have actually read your books.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Any parents who can afford to opt out of the state education system and go private – but don't. Only parents can make education good, and they have to stay within the system.

Julie Myerson's new novel, 'Then', is published by Jonathan Cape

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