Clare Dudman is a British writer. In her earlier life she was a post-doctoral research scientist, a teacher and university lecturer. She now spends her time writing novels - Wegener's Jigsaw (US title: One Day the Ice Will Reveal All Its Dead) and 98 Reasons for Being - short stories, poetry and articles. She is also a compulsive blogger (although she has been trying to give that up for about two years now) and traveller - deliberately setting her fiction in bleak inaccessible locations just so she can go there. Clare is married with two sons and lives in Chester. She blogs at Keeper of the Snails.
Why do you blog? > I think of it as my time capsule for someone to open in a hundred years time in case there is anyone around who is interested.
What has been your best blogging experience? > A Nobel Laureate commenting (appreciatively!) on what I'd said about him.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Someone accusing me of being anti-American (I ran this by a few American friends and they couldn't see how).
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Alfred Wegener, Marie Curie, Charles Darwin, Leo Szilard.
What are you reading at the moment? > The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Leonardo Da Vinci, Shakespeare, Beethoven.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > Beloved by Toni Morrison.
What is your favourite poem? > 'Poem' by Simon Armitage.
What is your favourite movie? > Wings of Desire (at the moment).
What is your favourite song? > 'Everybody Hurts' by R.E.M.
Who is your favourite composer? > G.F. Handel.
Can you name a work of non-fiction which has had a major and lasting influence on how you think about the world? > Principles of Physical Geology by Arthur Holmes. It showed me that everything I saw around me in the natural world could be explained. There were reasons why mountains, lakes, valleys were the shape they were. It was as if someone had removed a tablecloth covering a set of marvellous objects and I could see them all for the first time.
Who are your political heroes? > William Pitt the Younger.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > Make sure health care and education opportunities are the same all over the country.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > Fundamentalist religious zealots.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Follow your dream and don't let anyone distract you.
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 do you consider the most important personal quality? > Honesty.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Bullying.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > If someone were about to die and I knew they wouldn't want to know.
What is your favourite proverb? > 'Forgive your enemies because it really irritates them.'
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Playing games.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > Everything: my children, my husband, my parents, my brother, my friends, my work, whether I've done the right thing, the state of the planet...
What would your ideal holiday be? > Somewhere sunny but not too hot, with lots of interesting buildings and history, with my husband and sons.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Aerobics, spinnin' (the sort on exercise bikes), painting and drawing.
If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? > Something Welsh like Arianwen or Myfanwy.
What talent would you most like to have? > That of a multilinguist.
Who is your favourite comedian or humorist? > Sandi Toksvig.
How, if at all, would you change your life were you suddenly to win or inherit an enormously large sum of money? > I'd build my husband a place where he could do all the experiments he'd like to do.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Oscar Wilde, Samuel Pepys and Alan Bennett.
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