Rebecca Mascull is the author of The Visitors and Song of the Sea Maid. She has works in education, has a Masters in Writing and lives by the sea in the east of England. Her new novel, The Wild Air, is out on 4th May.
What is your earliest memory?
I remember having a dream about sharing a rowing boat with two cartoon mice and we were chased out of the sea and into my house by hundreds of snapping oysters!!
When and where were you happiest?
Right now. I don’t regret a thing and I’m happier the older I get.
What keeps you awake at night?
My bloody cat, scratching on the door for biscuits.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Someone who had far too much to do and never any time. I think Sylvia Plath and I thought the same way about a lot of things, but I’m not a depressive or suicidal person at all. We both loved people though and had unending curiosity about them.
Which living person do you most admire?
My daughter Poppy. She’s always kind and generous. And smart, so smart. And funny!
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A hairdresser on a cruise liner. Then a radiologist (because I fancied one on St Elsewhere). Then a concert pianist. Or a film director. Then, novelist. The last one happened, thankfully.
What’s the worst job you’ve done?
Barmaid at a Berni Inn type place. It was hell on a Sunday lunchtime.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My daughter Poppy!
Where is your favourite historical place?
Cotehele in Cornwall. The most gorgeous garden and stunning views of the Tamar.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
My cat. I simply must come back as a pampered cat. I watch her sit smugly at the window every morning when I leave to go and spend all day teaching and I think, You lucky bastard.
What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Chocolate. And lying in bed all day watching TV when my daughter’s not at home…
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Pale. Cool. Lovely.
What is your greatest regret?
I honestly don’t have any. Yes, really.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d love to be a painter. You’d produce something beautiful that people would treasure. It’s much harder to please people with novels, I find.
Who would play you in a film of your life?
Someone devastatingly good-looking, obvs. And skinny. They’re always much skinnier in the film version.
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
Out to dinner with Charles Dickens. Just me and him. No interlopers.
Where would you most like to be right now?
What is your most treasured possession?
I really don’t have one. I’m not that attached to things. But I really like the clay mouse, owl and strange little pencil pot that’s shaped like a face I made when I was 9.
Which musicians are currently on your playlist?
I’m crap at modern technology, so I don’t have a playlist as such, but my daughter and I are listening to Jamiroquai a lot in the car at the minute.
What is your favourite occupation?
Novelist. I just wish I had more time to do it.
To control time, to give me more of it in a day.
Who is your favourite fictional character?
That is IMPOSSIBLE. But if I must, it’d be someone from Dickens, like Joe Gargery. Or Jane Eyre. Or Cathy & Heathcliff. Or Anne Eliot in Persuasion. Or maybe Eeyore. I always loved Eeyore.
What is top of your bucket list?
See the Northern Lights.
Tell us something not many people know about you.
I used to be a cocktail pianist. I did it so I could save up to go inter-railing. It was great money, really boring and crap for back pain, but I used to get free puddings at the end of the night. Result.