Jessica Ruston is 29, and blogs about books, reading, writing and publishing at The Book Bar. She has written two non-fiction books, Heroines: The Bold, The Bad and The Beautiful and How Small Groups Can Raise Big Funds, and is currently writing a novel. She also works for Long Barn Books, and is studying Psychology with the Open University. She lives in London with her husband, Jack, who is a recording engineer and producer.
Why do you blog? > To wibble on about books and writing to someone other than my long-suffering husband. And as a bit of a marketing tool. It's also become a way of recording my working life.
What has been your best blogging experience? > The people - I've met some great people through blogging.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > It sounds obvious, but remember that the Internet is a public place. And be careful who you are rude about, because it may come back to haunt you.
What are you reading at the moment? > Bigger Deal by Anthony Holden, The Italian Lesson by Janice Elliott, British Regional Food by Mark Hix, and lots of entries for Long Barn Books' first novel competition.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Patrick McGrath, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Shakespeare, John Webster, Immodesty Blaize, Judi Dench, Tennessee Williams, Mark Z. Danielewski. Masses more - I shall now have to spend days remembering people and wishing I'd put them as well.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > The novel that made a huge impression on me when I first read it, years ago, and that I keep going back to is Asylum by Patrick McGrath.
What is your favourite poem? > 'The Sunlight on The Garden' by Louis MacNeice.
What is your favourite movie? > The Princess Bride.
What is your favourite song? > Changes constantly. Today, 'Iris' by The Goo Goo Dolls.
Who are your political heroes? > The suffragists.
If you could choose anyone, from any walk of life, to be Prime Minister, who would you choose? > Stephen Fry.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > I find the idea that there is an apex of civilization's achievements, after which it's all downhill, too depressing to think about.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Enjoy it.
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? > Probably not. Differing on certain points - yes, I think that's healthy. Radically different world view - can't see it working.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Kindness.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Cruelty.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > To protect someone, especially someone I loved. If I thought the end result of a lie would be more positive than telling the truth. I'm sure there are others.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > Men in bow ties.
What is your favourite proverb? > 'Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.'
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Sudoku.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > The usual things.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > Worked a bit harder at school. Gone to university when I was younger.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > I'd love to live in New York for a bit. Or by a beach somewhere.
What would your ideal holiday be? > Um, not camping. Anything that involves piles of books, good food, afternoon naps, a glass of wine in the evening and a swimming pool.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Reading books, although I can count that as work most of the time. Cooking, poring over cookbooks. Eating. Watching 24 and swooning over Jack Bauer. Sitting in cafes. Catching up with friends. Buying pretty things.
What is your most treasured possession? > I'd like to say something worthy, like my health, but I'd be really upset to lose my jewellery, especially my engagement and wedding rings and a ring I wore when I got married that my mother gave me.
What talent would you most like to have? > I'd like to be able to ride a bicycle without people laughing at me (for 'people', read 'my husband'). And to be able to swim in the sea without being terrified of sharks and things eating my feet.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Theatre set designer.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I'd have lots more shoes and pretty things.
[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.]