One Minute With: Monique Roffey

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The Independent Culture

Where are you and what can you see?

I'm sitting in my front room which overlooks our street and looking at my neighbour's house, which I look at nearly every morning from my office window.

What are you currently reading?

The Old Straight Track by Alfred Watkins, a classic book about ley lines, which is fascinating.

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

Jean Rhys. She taught me how to write a sentence and she had the literary skill and courage to pull off a book like Wide Sargasso Sea.

Describe the room where you usually write

I have an office which is a spare room with a mezzanine bed. I have lots of shelves stuffed with the books I need to hand and an image board, crammed with the pictures and detritus relating to my present project.

What distracts you from writing?

Emails and Facebook. I try and unplug myself first thing in the morning and try not to answer the phone or emails before 12pm.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre, who is bookish and self-possessed. At the same time, I recognise myself in the madwoman in the attic, an outsider in British society.

What are your readers like when you meet them?

I have never met any of my readers who is not a friend. I'd be intrigued to know who they are.

Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?

Aung San Suu Kyi. She is admirable in her painstaking non-violent protest, and she is completely commendable for her courage and peaceful, insistent protest.

Monique Roffey's 'The White Woman on the Green Bicycle' is published by Simon & Schuster.