Tracy Chevalier is the author of Girl with a Pearl Earring and the forthcoming The Last Runaway.
From her Q & A with Arifa Akbar at the Independent:
Choose a favourite author, and say why you admire her/himRead the complete Q & A.
Margaret Atwood. I admire the breadth and depth of her writing. She's written in all the genres and you never quite know what she's going to do next.
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Which fictional character most resembles you?
My favourite childhood character from 'Little House in the Big Woods' [by Laura Ingalls Wilder]. I really related to the character, Laura. She had the perfect sister and she always seemed to be slightly crabbier than her. I'm always crabbier than the perfect vision of myself.
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Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature?
At the moment, Rebecca Hosking who started the 'No More Plastic Bags' movement in Devon. She's a good reminder that you don't have to be someone famous to make a huge difference in the world.