One Minute With: Marian Keyes

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The Independent Culture

Where are you and what can you see?

I'm in my bedroom in London and I can see buildings all around me.

What are you currently reading?

I've just started the new Sebastian Faulks. It's really gripping. I always have about 16 books on the go. I'm also reading an old PD James. I love crime as well as Ian Rankin and Val McDermid.

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

It's hard to choose one but I'm very fond of Kate Atkinson. I like how she puts a sentence together. She's very witty and compassionate about the human condition.

Describe the room where you usually write

It's in Dublin. It's the spare bedroom and its suits me. Anything that smacks of an office gives me the fear.

What distracts you from writing?

The enormous fear that I will have nothing to say today or for the rest of my life. It's easier not to start.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

I'm really sorry but I've agonised and I don't have any recollection of reading a character and thinking 'she's like me'.

What are your readers like when you meet them?

They are mostly women and it's like they are already friends; they're incredibly affectionate and they bring presents. They're very enthusiastic and they're from all over the world. It's cross generational: I see mothers coming with their daughters.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Aung San Suu Kyi. I admire her self sacrifice so much. She has remained strong. She's an example of how amazing human beings can be.

Marian Keyes's latest novel, 'The Brightest Star in the Sky', is published by Michael Joseph (Penguin).