One Minute With: Lesley Pearse

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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

I'm in my office, looking out at my dogs barking at a horse that happens to be going past.

What are you currently reading?

London in the Nineteenth Century by Jerry White, which I'm reading as research. I also have Martina Cole's new book. She's a friend of mine, and I dip into it when I'm not working.

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

Stella Gibbons for her book, Cold Comfort Farm. I re-read it quite a lot and it makes me scream with laughter. It's a fable of country life and lifts my spirits every time I re-read it.

Describe the room where you usually write

I have windows on both sides with an L-shaped desk at the bottom of the room, which is lined with books.

What distracts you from writing?

Absolutely anything...The need to clean the knife drawer, for example. Usually though, it's the garden.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

Flora Poste from Cold Comfort Farm, because she's bossy, and thinks she knows everything, and sets about re-organising the whole family. I definitely identify with her.

What are you readers like when you meet them?

So sweet. They usually think I'm going to be smaller and quieter than I am, maybe because my books are quite sensitive.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

A friend called Jo Prosser who is always there for me. I have known her since she was 13. She's always wise, she'll help me work out what to cook if someone's coming round for dinner, she'll even come round and cook it if that helps me.

Lesley Pearse's latest novel, 'Stolen', is published by Michael Joseph.