[It is an established tradition at normblog that whenever the normblog profile series reaches a multiple of 200, the blogger profiled should be called Geras. Accordingly...]
Adèle Geras was born in Jerusalem in 1944. She is the author of more than 90 books for readers of all ages. Adèle blogs regularly on two group blogs, An Awfully Big Blog Adventure (for which she writes book reviews) and The History Girls; and contributes the occasional post here at normblog. She is married to Norman Geras and lives in Cambridge.
Why do you blog? > I blog on group blogs because although I like my voice and opinions to be there on the internet, I have neither the time nor the application to blog every day. Doing it this way spreads the load. ABBA, as it's known, is a blog for children's writers, and The History Girls is for writers of historical fiction - so my duties are two posts a month.
What has been your best blogging experience? > I was thrilled to bits when the Persephone Biannually Magazine reprinted a post of mine about Dorothy Whipple which had previously appeared on normblog.
What are you reading at the moment? > I'm about to start on Florence and Giles by John Harding. It looks terrific.
Who are your cultural heroes? > Mozart, Shakespeare, Matisse.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > It's a toss-up between À la recherche du temps perdu and Persuasion. Or maybe Middlemarch. This is the hardest question on this questionnaire, as I honestly do not know the answer. War and Peace? Jane Eyre?
What is your favourite poem? > 'To his Coy Mistress' by Andrew Marvell.
What is your favourite movie? > Singin' in the Rain.
What is your favourite song? > 'Don't Think Twice, It's All Right' by Bob Dylan.
Who is your favourite composer? > Mozart.
If you could effect one major policy change in the governing of your country, what would it be? > I would make as sure as I possibly could of universal literacy, whatever it took in terms of money. More importantly, I'd make sure prisons got lots of money for good literacy programmes. Crime would drop dramatically if everyone could read and write.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > Still to come.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Don't sweat the small stuff.
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 probably could but I wouldn't much like it. It would depend on how different 'different' was. There are views I'd be unable to stomach.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Generosity of spirit.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > Meanness of spirit.
In what circumstances would you be willing to lie? > To stop someone I loved from being hurt. Also for politeness. 'Does my bum look big in this?' always has to have the answer 'no'.
Do you have any prejudices you're willing to acknowledge? > I loathe golf.
What is your favourite proverb? > Not a real proverb but a quote from knitwear designer Kaffe Fassett: 'If in doubt, add twenty more colours.' This is a variant of my other favourite quote, from Mae West: 'Too much of a good thing can be wonderful.'
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > I don't and wouldn't play any kind of sport.
What, if anything, do you worry about? > My family. Sometimes my work. I'm not really a big worrier.
If you were to relive your life to this point, is there anything you'd do differently? > I'd keep a diary, even if only an accurate appointments diary. I'm disturbed by how 'gone' so much of my past is.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > As well as, not instead of... a nice flat in Paris near St Germain des Prés would be good.
What would your ideal holiday be? > I fancy repeating our Venice holiday but would be happy with any good hotel in an interesting city. No isolated farmhouses for me!
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Reading. Watching television. Knitting. Baking. Pottering about on the internet.
If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? > When I was eight, I really, really wanted to be Desirée. Nowadays, I've used all my favourite names for characters in my books so it's much harder. If I really had to change I'd go with Eleanor.
What talent would you most like to have? > I'd love to be able to paint.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > In my youth, I'd have made a corking Country and Western singer.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Nora Ephron, Aaron Sorkin and Christopher Hitchens. If Nora did the cooking, too, that would be a bonus.
What animal would you most like to be? > I'd like to be a cat owned by people who loved me.
[A list of all the normblog profiles to date, and the links to them, can be found here.]