Kate Feld grew up in Central Vermont. She studied classics and philosophy at St. John's College, Annapolis, and wrote for various newspapers. After attending graduate school for journalism at Columbia University, she moved from Manhattan to the cosmopolitan cultural hub that is Chorley. Kate edited the short-lived Eightytwenty magazine and currently freelances for Metro, The Mix and BBC Radio 4. She is developing a blogging project for the Manchester Literature Festival and writing a novel. She is married to Richard Roe and has a step-daughter, Rebecca, who is six. Kate blogs at The Manchizzle.
Why do you blog? > I blog because I want to share my enthusiasm for good things, develop lines of thought that would probably be lost to me otherwise, and vent exasperation through humour. And it keeps me writing every day.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Through blogging I've become friends with people I never would have met otherwise.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Getting comments-blitzed by a horde of angry gun enthusiasts after I suggested that a judge who had lost faith in the effectiveness of prison might have a point.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Just get on with it. A blog is a work in progress, and nobody expects scintillating gems of wisdom every day.
What are your favourite blogs? > I should probably mention something really worthy like Arts and Letters Daily, but really I enjoy Sarah Hepola's blog for the wonderful writing, False 45th, a music blog from my home state, and Gawker, which makes me miss New York less.
What are you reading at the moment? > I'm mostly reading Katharine Briggs's scholarly work on fairy myths and legends, The Fairies in Tradition and Literature. But I have taken a little break in order to re-read Murder Must Advertise by Dorothy Sayers.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > My favourite book is Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones.
What is your favourite poem? > 'God's Grandeur' by Gerard Manley Hopkins. The language is delicious.
What is your favourite movie? > Les Enfants du Paradis. Donnie Darko and The Philadelphia Story are close contenders.
What is your favourite song? > This week, it's 'Melissa' by The Allman Brothers. For a long time I've kind of dismissed the song, probably because it got overplayed on AM radio. But the guitar line kills me.
Who are your intellectual heroes?> Can I say my journalistic heroes? Joseph Mitchell, Gay Talese and Katherine Boo.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > Moral relativism.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > Plato's Collected Dialogues. Belief in the existence of absolute truth, 'The Good', and all of the rest of it is really important to me, even though I also believe that we can't really get at it.
Who are your political heroes? > Vermont's representatives in Congress - Senator Patrick Leahy (D), Senator James Jeffords (I) and Rep. Bernie Sanders (I). Each in his own way has done great things in Washington, amid much difficulty.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > The story of Cincinnatus. The person who's the most qualified to lead would usually rather just get on with their own life.
Do you think you could ever be married to, or in a long-term relationship with, someone with radically different political views from your own? > I was involved in a serious relationship with a libertarian once. We had these incredible arguments about welfare, but it was do-able. My husband and I (boringly) sing from the same political hymn book.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Tolerance and willingness to understand people who are different from you.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Mean-spiritedness.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > I'd lie in order to save someone from mortal danger or mortal embarrassment. I don't think lies are always a bad thing.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > My family wasn't religious, and when I was younger I thought that religious people had simply bought in to some crazy story and set of rules because it was easier than working out morality for themselves. I'm working on it.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Walking on treadmills, because you're literally getting nowhere. And you could be out in the fresh air. Sheesh.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Nuclear war, my loved ones' health and well-being, and getting enough sleep.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > I'd edit myself less.
Who would play you in the movie about your life? > Ideally, Rosalind Russell.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > On the Upper West Side.
What would your ideal holiday be? > Researching my family's roots in Ireland, Poland and Romania.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Reading, walking in the hills, eating and drinking with my friends, listening to music, and doing artsy-craftsy things. I just learned how to knit.
What is your most treasured possession? > My wedding ring, and a 1983 new wave compilation called 'Modern Heroes', on vinyl.
Which English Premiership football team do you support? > I've gone for Manchester City. They don't win much. For some reason this feels right to me, maybe because I grew up in New England during the Curse of the Bambino.
If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > That my mother, who has been very sick, will have a complete recovery.
[The normblog profile is a weekly Friday morning feature. A list of all the profiles to date, and the links to them, can be found here.]