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Author Interview with Catherine Leyshon

Biography

I am a human geographer – and that’s not just my profession. If you cut me in half, I’ve got ‘geographer’ written through me like a stick of rock. My geographical interests in place, space, identity and community creep into my fiction. I have all my best ideas when I’m walking the dog.

  • The Shipping News and That Old Ace in the Hole by Annie Proulx; anything by Richard Russo; Gilead by Marilynne Robinson; quite a bit of science fiction and most of the Pulitzer Prize winning novels of the last 30 years.

  • I don't usually eat breakfast unless I'm on a fieldtrip when I become a rampaging, insatiable eating machine. You can't beat a really good vegetarian fry up.

  • The American novel, the American short story and a dash of sci-fi or fantasy.

  • A teeny tiny 3.5. There's no VAT on children's shoes, so there are benefits to having small feet.

  • I write for my job. Writing fiction is a great form of escapism.

  • Definitely. That and geography, of course. My first degree was joint honours Geography and English Literature.

  • Someone told me that old mine shafts were used for storing stolen goods. It was pretty easy to write after that.

  • Aren't we all a bit of both?

  • Anywhere - my notebook is always with me.

  • The landscape and culture are a great source of ideas.

  • Making the familiar unfamiliar.

  • Cornwall has such an extraordinary history and landscape that it invites the writer to think extraordinary thoughts.

  • I like the idea that myths don't only belong in the past. I wanted to rethink the idea of a giant and modernise it a bit.

  • I'd like to be someone or something from a Studio Ghibli cartoon.

  • I make a really good vegan curry. And I'm pretty good at cakes.

  • When I was a kid. I was writing all the time.

  • Give yourself permission to make things up.

  • My corgi, Treacle, is the best dog ever.

  • A corgi. They eat a lot, sleep a lot and are very loyal, clever and curious.

  • The music from my running playlist is upbeat.

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