Who are your favorite authors? Flaubert, George Eliot, Chekhov, Nabokov, Marquez, Eudora Welty, James Baldwin, William Maxwell, Patrick White, Carver, E.L. Doctorow, Richard Ford, Shirley Hazzard, Marilynne Robinson, Brian Castro, JM Coetzee, Gerald Murnane, David Malouf, Alice Munro…(I could fill several pages…) Who has had a major influence on your writing? All of the books I’ve ever read and the books I’m yet to read. Name a book you never finished? There are too many to name. But there are also a great many I’ve read and re-read over and over again. What word or words do you always have trouble spelling? I have dyslexia and I doubt I would have been able to write at all in the pre-typewriter, pre-computer age. I commonly transpose b and d, and p and q when handwriting. This is a trial for me when writing dedications in books. ‘Dear Bod, I hoque you like this dook, I hoque it gives you qleasure…’ What three adjectives best describe you? Small, plain, puzzled. Which of your characters would you want to be and why? In some way, I am all of my characters. I don’t believe you can conjure people into being; you rely on your own memories and experiences. Which author would you invite to dinner? I’m not a cook so a walk would be better. Walking and talking is good. I would have liked to have gone for a walk with the wonderful Australian author, Elizabeth Jolley. Where do you write? Wherever I can steal a few quiet hours. When do you write? I have a fulltime job so I write in snatches. I don’t write every day. I don’t have any particular rituals. Mornings are good as the day hasn’t intruded too much… What makes you happy? Being with the people I love, nature, animals, reading, fixing things. What do you most fear? Being unloved. What is the quality you most like in yourself? I’m not the right person to answer that. What are the qualities you most like in your friends? Steadiness. Would you be lying if you said your works were not autobiographical? My first novel was set in the 1930s and my second in the 1950s. I was born in the 1960s so technically the novels are not autobiographical, but they are the product of my experiences – both real and imagined. What is your favorite adjective? Fossorial – an animal specially adapted for digging and burrowing. What is your favorite book? It is difficult to name a favourite. Patrick White’s, Riders in the Chariot, always astonishes me. What book would you read three times? I read Flaubert’s Madame Bovary at least once a year. To whom would you award the Nobel Prize for Literature and why? The Australian writer, Gerald Murnane. Please nominate three “must reads” for Members of TheReadingRoom.com I’m a miniaturist. I like small books. These three are sublime: E.L. Doctorow, Lives of the Poets. Richard Ford, Wildlife. William Maxwell, So Long, See you Tomorrow.