One Minute With: Lissa Evans

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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

The number 24 bus is going past. I can see my husband, who's just had his hair cut and is listening in to what I say before he takes the dog for a walk.

What are you currently reading?

I'm re-reading Margaret Atwood's The Robber Bride which I first read around 20 years ago, I think. It's about a group of friends and the mysterious reappearance of a dead and now deadly former classmate of theirs.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

Eeyore - who's always looking on the gloomy side of life. I'm not that big on thistles though.

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

George Orwell writes such wonderful prose, which is incredibly readable and very memorable. He didn't write many books but they're all very distinct – one for every occasion.

Describe the room where you usually write

It's the London Library in St James's Square. It's fantastic, like being in a grand country house. At the moment I'm using the T S Eliot reading room which is more modern, with strip lighting and a concrete floor.

What distracts you?

Just about anything and everything really. If I'm at home, it's reading (even junk mail), phoning, email, sudoku, just going through my "to do" list...

What are your readers like when you meet them?

I very rarely do but their letters are really, really lovely. Someone who's taken the time to write a letter is the best friend in the world. I'm so grateful to anyone who does that.

Who is your hero/ heroine from outside literature?

Jessica Mitford – she was a very funny writer who didn't take life too seriously but seriously enough. She was tremendously principled; to think the way she did in a predominantly fascist family took a lot of courage.

'Their Finest Hour and a Half', by Lissa Evans, is published by Doubleday.