One Minute With: Kate Mosse

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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

Autumn leaves falling on my garden in Sussex and, wonderfully, a beauty of a bird of prey (hawk, kite?) wheeling above the distant trees and setting crows to flight.

What are you currently reading?

Marc Lévy's Resistance novel, The Children of Freedom and the last novel from the the great Marilyn French, The Love Children, delivered just before she died earlier this year.

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

Agatha Christie for stamina, professionalism, puzzles, characterisation and sense of place. T S Eliot for his lyricism, his mysticism, the beauty of his language and his enduring ability to capture a moment with the bare minimum of literary fuss.

Describe the room where you usually write

Too red - I think I am going to repaint the bookshelves. Actually, I can write anywhere - airport lounges, in bed, on a rattling train going north.

What distracts you from writing?

Wishing I was out of doors on the Downs with my dog.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

I'd like to say Nancy Drew for her energy or Edith Wharton's Antonia for her courage and steadfast nature or Sarah Waters' Sue Trinder or Scherazade. But in truth, I'm more the bookish librarian or quiet Mum rather than a leading literary lady.

What are your readers like when you meet them?

As many men as women, of all ages, enthusiastic and generous and kind.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Women who have stood up for fairness and equal rights in the face of opposition. Sylvia and Emmeline Pankhurst, Mary Secole, the unsung women of the French Resistance.

Kate Mosse's latest novella, 'The Winter Ghosts, is published by Orion