One Minute With: Lisa Jewell

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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

I'm sitting at my desk at the top of my home in North London. I have all the blinds open and I can see an unspoilt blue sky with no jet trails in it.

What are you currently reading?

An unpublished manuscript that a fan of mine – Denis Deasy – sent me. He's a middle aged man with two autistic sons and it's a fictionalised account of his experience of raising autistic children. I said I'd read it for him.

Choose a favorite author and say why you like her/him.

Over the last 15 years of reading, it would have to Nick Hornby. I just like listening to his voice. He never loses the tone.

Describe the room where you usually write.

It's the attic which is not just my writing room but also my bedroom. It's got wallpaper with humming birds, pink bedding and orchids – all very girly.

What distracts you from writing?

It's such a cliche but the internet. Nothing else does; once I sit down nothing gets me up, except for two trips to the kitchen, one for my lunch and one for a cup of tea.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

Darrell from [Enid Blyton's] Malory Towers, although haven't got the sort of character that one would fictionlise – I'm a very simple soul.

Where are your readers like when you meet them?

Never what I expect them to be, and it's only a certain sort of reader with that 'fan gene' who will get on a train to come and see you, perhaps the most enthusiastic ones.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Nurses, carers, ambulance drivers, people who do really challenging jobs, working anti-social hours, and doing things that 90 percent of the of the population would never countenence, and who get paid a pittance.

Lisa Jewell's 'After the Party' is published by Century