Elizabeth Fremantle is the author of four novels. The latest, The Girl in the Glass Tower, was a Times Book of the Year in 2016 and is out in paperback on 9 February. During her career as a journalist, Elizabeth contributed to various publications including The Sunday Times, Vogue, Vanity Fair, The Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal. She also reviews fiction for The Sunday Express and is a member of the HWA Committee.
What is your earliest memory?
Refusing to be parted from my first pair of Startrite shoes when they had become too small. They were bright red and made a very satisfying clicketty sound when I walked.
When and where were you happiest?
I’ve never been happier than I am now. I’m not a particularly nostalgic person.
What keeps you awake at night?
That would be telling.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Whichever one I’m writing about at the time.
Which living person do you most admire?
The people I most admire are those who have the courage to stand up to injustice, whatever the personal cost.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
What’s the worst job you’ve done?
When I was sixteen I worked as a kennel maid at Battersea Dogs Home; it was in equal parts heart warming and heart breaking – I couldn’t take the latter.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Raising two, relatively balanced and happy, human beings.
Where is your favourite historical place?
There are many but at the moments it’s Hardwick Hall in Derbyshire, as it inspired me to write my latest novel.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Heating. I feel the cold so keep my flat hot as a sauna.
Which book changed your life?
It’s hard to identify a single one as books have formed me but Victor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning is right up there as a transformative work.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
What is your greatest regret?
Regret is a wasted emotion.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d like to be able to sing. I can’t – really.
Who would play you in a film of your life?
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
I wouldn’t. I’m terrified enough of air travel, so a time machine would defeat me utterly.
Where would you most like to be right now?
Right where I am.
What is your most treasured possession?
I treasure my dogs, though whether I possess them or they possess me is the question.
Which musicians are currently on your playlist?
What is your favourite occupation?
Who are your favourite writers?
There are several but Stephan Zweig always comes near the tip of my list.
Winnie the Pooh
What is top of your bucket list?
I heard of a man who camped out all night for the latest iphone, and that experience was on his bucket list. If I had a bucket list, camping out all night for anything would not be on it.
Tell us something not many people know about you.
I was expelled from two schools.
Photo © Poppy Miyonga