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Miranda Cowley Heller I write in a big old barn looking over the treetops on Cape Cod

The author of The Paper Palace talks about her favourite writing spot Jane Austen and Mel Gibsons Braveheart Where are you now and what can you see I am in my bedroom in Los Angeles. There is a beautiful painting on the grey-brown wall in front of me – a figure of a woman lying on pink ground by the British painter Susannah Phillips. Underneath it my Australian shepherd puppy is asleep in his crate. I can see only one paw the crate is covered in towels to keep out the light door always open – he loves a cave. It has also become the de facto surface for the explosion of junk in my bedroom. Out the window I see palm trees a blank blue sky and telephone wires. That and a wilting pot of geraniums.

What are you currently reading
The Invisible Life of Addie Larue by VE Schwab Vladimir by Julia May Jonas and From Warsaw with Love by John Pomfret. Who is your favourite author and why do you admire them
Jane Austen Im afraid. Very typical but there you have it. I admire how subversively modern her writing is – her biting wit her sharp social commentary and the way she combines it with rich storytelling and romance.

Describe the room where you usually write…
I write in different places – coffee shops libraries trains the kitchen table the living room sofa sitting up in bed. Anywhere but at the very well-appointed and organised desk in my office. But in the summer when I am on Cape Cod I write in one place up the hill behind our house there is a big old barn that looks out over the treetops. Which fictional character most resembles you I am basically a combination of Austens Elinor and Marianne Dash wood – sense and sensibility possibly the worst sides of each. Who is your hero heroine from outside literature Abraham Lincoln is definitely up there. Does Mel Gibson as Braveheart count

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