Clare Sudbery started blogging in a fit of excitement when her first novel was published. She imagined hordes of eager fans, desperate to know her every move. Six months later she discovered other blogs, and reconciled herself to obscurity in blogging as well as publishing. At the same time she discovered that most blurbs about authors are written by the authors, who nevertheless insist on telling the truth. She lives in a treehouse in Manchester with six tigers and a giraffe. People come from far away to ask for advice and jam with her cats. She is writing another novel. Clare blogs at Boob Pencil.
Why do you blog? > I like the sight of my own words.
What has been your best blogging experience? > Long-lost fans of my mum's books getting in touch with her via my blog.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > I wrote something insensitive about someone close to me. They were understandably upset.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > Don't look at visitor stats. No, really. They'll swallow you whole.
What are you reading at the moment? > 13 Steps to Mentalism, by Corinda.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Michelle Shocked, the Esbjorn Svensson Trio, Jim Dodge, Tom Robbins, Toni Morrison, Kathleen Bryson, Victoria Wood, Kathy Burke, the makers of Six Feet Under and Shameless... That was just a random sample. I'll lie awake all night thinking of those I've missed.
What is your favourite movie? > What's Up Doc, with Barbara Streisand and Ryan O'Neal. It's funny!
What is your favourite song? > 'May You Never' by John Martyn.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Everything! Whether or not I'm a good writer, for one.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Don't worry.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > An ability to laugh at life, people and oneself.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Small-mindedness.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > Most!
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > Yes, tons. Oh, you want one? I assume most football players are stupid, ignorant, aggressive, arrogant, boring and bigoted. And rugby players.
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Getting your nails done. And most other 'beauty'-related stuff.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > Yes, but aaaarrrgh. If you get me started on thinking about that, I'll dissolve into a puddle of self-disembowelment and never get today's tea cooked, never mind finish writing my book. So no. I prefer to place an embargo on the whole doing-it-differently thing and wrap it all up with a sage 'Oh no, I don't believe in regrets'-style answer.
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? > No.
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to disseminate? > Political action changes people (in all directions).
What philosophical thesis do you think it most important to combat? > The concept that all or some humans are by nature selfish and violent.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > Karl Marx, Das Kapital. I've never even read it, but without it the many people who have convinced me permanently of the value of, and need for, socialism would have been less eloquent.
Who are your political heroes? > All the unknown people who fight daily battles against the big and the powerful.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > Action changes consciousness.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > I can only say I think something better (than anything yet) is possible.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > San Francisco.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Blogging, having massages, watching comedy, sitting in my attic reading books, climbing mountains, playing the piano, cuddling my son, laughing with those close to me, eating ice cream, doing yoga.
What talent would you most like to have? > To be a singer whose voice gives people orgasms.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Bill Bailey.
If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > To be a successful writer of children's books.
[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.]