One Minute With: Sophie Hannah, novelist
Friday 18 February 2011
Where are you now and what can you see?
At home in Cambridge. I can see scaffolding outside every window, covered with plastic sheeting and stonemasons. We bought this house last year and it needed lots of work.
What are you currently reading?
'Why We Lie' by Dorothy Rowe. I'm very interested in psychology in general, and I love her books. With almost every sentence you just feel: that's so true and I never realised it. She's spot-on about the reasons why we lie – but I'm looking forward to her suggestions for alternatives that are equally saving of misery.
Choose a favourite author, and say why you admire her/him
Tana French. Her psychological thrillers are brilliantly written but you also read on, desperate to find something out. For me, that is the winning combination.
Describe the room where you usually write
The converted attic on the top floor of our house. It has a fantastic view of Cambridge church towers.
What distracts you from writing?
The Rightmove property website... It's mainly just an addiction, but once I've been looking for long enough I start to convince myself that I'm serious. There's a powerful allure of the life you haven't had.
Which fictional character most resembles you?
Somebody in an Iris Murdoch novel who is always getting hysterically emotional and saying things that make no sense - possibly the hero of 'The Sea, The Sea'. People who know me say I do that.
What are your readers like when you meet them?
Lovely: smartly dressed, very intelligent and articulate.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
At the moment, Bill Bryson, because he has made it his mission to do something about litter – and I am obsessed with litter. There should be a minimum 20-year sentence for dropping a 7-Up bottle in beautiful Cambridge streets!
Sophie Hannah's new novel is 'Lasting Damage' (Hodder & Stoughton)
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
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- 2 Christmas comes early to Hong Kong, as millions of bank notes spill out onto busy street
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 4 Northern Lights above Britain: Stunning Aurora Borealis illuminates Northumberland sky on Christmas Eve
- 5 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Christmas Day TV guide 2014: What to watch from Strictly Come Dancing to the story of Frozen
Felicity Jones on being Stephen Hawking's wife in The Theory of Everything: 'I didn't want her to be a saint'
Best underrated Christmas movies: From Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
The Interview is finally released after Sony hack and terror threats – but reviews of North Korea satire are mixed
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
Ukip member gets into Christmas spirit with Union Flag plea to Santa 'for our country back'
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food