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Imposters in Paradise by Maxine Barry Q & A

Where are you happiest?

At home – or in a library. (And walking on a summer’s day across a meadow by a river.)

Who would you like to star in the film of your life?

(OK – you’ll have to wait a few minutes now, before I stop laughing. What actress in the world would want to play me?) OK, fantasy choice – probably Diana Rigg (I loved her as Emma Peel in the old Avenger’s series!!!) In reality – probably that wonderful actress who plays ‘Vera’ so well in the Anne Cleeves BBC series.

Describe your best ever holiday.

I never went on holiday until I was well into my twenties – coming from a large, working class family we could never afford to go on one as kids (and no, I’m really not touting for sympathy or wallowing in self-pity.) Besides, none of us minded that – living in a country village, with the river Cherwell and Oxford canal to explore, it felt like we were constantly on holiday anyway. But I do remember my first time abroad – when I spent a week in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland in the springtime. Stunning mountain scenery, two large lakes, cows with huge musical bells around their necks that rang out every time they moved, and fields full of wild amethyst-coloured orchids. Lovely.

If you could be invisible for a day, what would you do? (easy, tiger!)

You really shouldn’t ask questions like that! It’s boggling my mind a bit. Actually, I’m very worried at the moment about this pressing need to build new houses on greenbelt and expand pretty rural villages out of all recognition. So I’d probably sneak into a council planning office and find out what they’re really saying and plotting, out of the spotlight of public scrutiny!

If I joined you on your perfect day, what would we be doing?

Nothing very exciting I’m afraid. (I’ve never felt the urge to bungee-jump or go white-water rafting!) It would be a lovely day outside though and we’d walk my dog, cook something nice for lunch, read something good, maybe go out in the evening with a couple of friends or family to a riverside pub and feed the swans. (I’d like to say, at this point, we’d then come home to find a David Tennant or Rufus Sewell lookalike waiting for us with a warm mug of drinking chocolate and even warmer smile, but that really would be hoping for too much!)

What do you think is the best thing about social media?

I’m a near-Luddite when it comes to modern technology and have only just started to learn to Twitter. Sorry, tweet. So, what I know about social media could be written in one word.  Nothing!

And the worst…?!

Again – I don’t feel qualified to comment.

What is the most important item you require for a quiet night in?

A good book.

Is it best to always tell the truth or is it sometimes better to tell a little white lie?

Ah. Interesting. Depends on the reason for the white lie, I suppose. If the truth is painful – and isn’t really required to do anyone any good – I don’t see the point of it for its own sake. On the other hand, I can well see why telling lies isn’t a particularly good idea either. It has to be bad for the soul, right?

Buy Imposters in Paradise here:

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