One Minute With: Tracy Chevalier, novelist
Arifa Akbar is literary editor of The Independent and i newspapers. She has worked at The Independent since 2001 as a news reporter and arts correspondent before joining the books desk in 2009. She was a judge for the Orwell Prize for books 2013, and the Fiction Uncovered Prize 2014, and is currently judging the Aesthetica Magazine new writing prize.
Friday 13 April 2012
Where are you now and what can you see?
In a little village in Dorset. I can see a green field with a teepee in someone's garden.
What are you currently reading?
I'm re-reading 'How I Live Now' by Meg Rosoff, which I've chosen for World Book Night. I'm glad and relieved that I chose it. I first read it a long time ago and there's always the worry that it's not going to be as good as you remember it. It has a wonderful narrator, a contemporary Holden Caulfield, but a girl.
Choose a favourite author, and say why you admire her/him
Margaret Atwood. I admire the breadth and depth of her writing. She's written in all the genres and you never quite know what she's going to do next.
Describe the room where you usually write
It's a small room at the back of my house in London. It always has too much stuff in it, books all over the floor, and pictures on the wall, relating to the book I'm working on.
What distracts you from writing?
Cups of tea, phone calls, Twitter, and the odd game of Spider Solitaire.
Which fictional character most resembles you?
My favourite childhood character from 'Little House in the Big Woods' [by Laura Ingalls Wilder]. I really related to the character, Laura. She had the perfect sister and she always seemed to be slightly crabbier than her. I'm always crabbier than the perfect vision of myself.
What are your readers like when you meet them?
Enthusiastic and passionate, and I love that. It reminds me of why I write.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
At the moment, Rebecca Hosking who started the 'No More Plastic Bags' movement in Devon. She's a good reminder that you don't have to be someone famous to make a huge difference in the world.
World Book Night 2012 takes place on Monday 23 April, and on the day, Tracy Chevalier will be giving away copies of 'How I Live Now' by Meg Rosoff
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