One Minute With: Ruth Rendell, novelist
Friday 06 August 2010
Where are you now and what can you see?
I'm sitting in my house in London and I'm looking at my emails. I can see my gallery railings with French windows down below. There's an extremely handsome cat walking about in my garden.
What are you currently reading?
I'm starting Peter Mandelson's memoirs, but I can't tell you anything about it because I'm only three days in. I'm also reading a marvellous novel, The Madonnas of Leningrad , published a few years ago, by Debra Dean.
Choose a writer and say why you like him/her
My favourite book - The Good Soldier by Ford Madox Ford, which I have read about 20 times - is different from my favourite author, who is Iris Murdoch. I find her books exciting and unputdownable. Her characters are so carefully studied and indepth; I love that.
Describe the room where you usually write
It's at the top of my house so I climb 58 stairs to get to it. It was originally a bedroom. It's small and it doesn't have a desk but two large tables, a photocopier, printer and two filing cabinets. I'm a very tidy person but that room is always untidy.
What distracts you from writing?
I don't mind being distracted. I don't want to sit there in utter silence and type. If the phone rings, I usually answer it, speak for a few minutes and return to writing, or go for a walk in and out of the rooms. I don't mind a break.
Which fictional character most resembles you?
I would find it impossible to say as I don't know how people see me, I only know how I feel.
What are your readers like when you meet them?
They are very nice, and gratifying to meet.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside liteature?
Desmond Tutu because he appears strong and funny and for me, it's essential to be witty and amusing. I feel like that about him when I see photos of his lovely smiling face.
Ruth Rendell's latest novel, 'Tigerlily's Orchids', is published by Hutchinson
There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turningTV
Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'music
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Rihanna 'nude photos' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 2 Frank Lampard equalises for Manchester City against Chelsea: how Twitter reacted
- 3 Stamford Hill council removes 'unacceptable' posters telling women which side of the road to walk down
- 4 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Downton Abbey series 5, episode 1, review: Revolution still seems far off
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written
Friends 20th anniversary: The highs and lows of the cast's careers since TV series ended in 2004
Downton Abbey series 5, episode 1, ITV, review: There’s revolution in the air, but one lady’s not for turning
Friends 20th anniversary: Six things we wouldn't have without influential comedy series
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'