One Minute With: Lesley Pearse, novelist


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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

In my office, looking out onto rain-lashed garden. The snowman has left his hat and scarf behind.

What are you currently reading?

'Resistance' by Agnès Humbert. A true story told in diary form of Agnès's work with the French Resistance and her capture and imprisonment.

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

Susan Howatch. I love that she writes great big meaty books with finely drawn characters and gripping plots. She never disappoints.

Describe the room where you usually write

My office. It has windows on two sides, my built-in desk which is stained pale blue oak between the windows.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

In my own books it is probably Camellia Norton in 'Camellia'. But I often think Flora Poste, in 'Cold Comfort Farm' by Stella Gibbons, could be me.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Boudica, Queen of the Iceni. She raised the whole of south-eastern English in revolt after Iceni was violently annexed, and burned London and Colchester. I love the image of her in a chariot with knives on the wheels.

Lesley Pearse's 'Forgive Me' is published by Michael Joseph