Where are you now and what can you see?
I am lying on crumbs from my sons' breakfast toast and I can see the skeletons of plane trees swaying against a pale blue sky.
What are you currently reading?
Flannery O'Connor's short stories, 'A Good Man is Hard to Find'. Loving it.
Choose a favourite author and say why you admire her/him
Willa Cather. She makes the black earth of a vanished Nebraska live again and the very best of her novels slip the shackles of their period and enter the immortal zone.
Describe the room where you usually write
I live in a Victorian former butcher's and write in the small room above the shop where the butcher dismembered his carcasses. It has a fireplace, and all my shoes arranged around the skirting.
Which fictional character most resembles you?
Lucy Glitters from RS Surtees's 'Mr Sponge's Sporting Tour' – a reprobate through and through.
Who is your hero/ heroine from outside literature?
I think of Dietrich Bonhoeffer a lot. More dignity than I could muster in a thousand lifetimes, and his inspirational ideas live on.
'O My America! Second acts in a new world' by Sara Wheeler is published by Jonathan Cape. Get money off it at the Independent bookshop, here.Reuse content