One Minute With: Rachel Hore, novelist

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The Independent Culture

Where are you now and what can you see?

I'm sitting on my study floor, surrounded by old computers and packaging, as I am currently changing my computer. It's right at the top of the house, an old Edwardian building.

What are you currently reading?

Rebecca Hunt's 'Mr Chartwell', which I'm reviewing. It's a story about depression that uses the idea of the black dog which Winston Churchill wrote about. She uses it in a very playful way, but there's something serious going on.

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

I'm very fond of Barbara Kingsolver. I love the way she places people in the world and suddenly you zoom back and see the larger, natural order of that place. I have read all her novels but my favourite is 'Prodigal Summer', about the wilderness and set in American forests.

Describe the room where you usually write

In my study at the top of the house. The room is much as the maid must have left it. I can see some of the seven gardens that touch ours... So we have to ask seven people when we want to trim or cut down a hedge.

What distracts you from writing?

Mainly friends ringing up at nine in the morning, when I have got myself psychologically prepared to type – after the children have gone to school and I've put my old cardi on – and then the phone rings! Emails and Facebook are distractions as well.

Which fictional character most resembles you?

I suppose I would go for Jo March, in 'Little Women', in the sense that I've got a scribbling suit like her woolly pinafore dress and hat with a red bow. In my case, I've got mismatching track-suit top and bottoms.

What are you readers like when you meet them?

They are of course lovely, warm people of wisdom and great discernment!

Who is your hero or heroine from outside literature?

I would say Caroline Lucas, the Green Party's first Member of Parliament.

Rachel Hore's 'A Place of Secrets' (Pocket Books) has been chosen for Richard and Judy's Book Club