Emma Rathbone

Emma Rathbone

1. One of my earliest memories is of my grandmother reading to me from Black Beauty. I remember feeling a white-hot rage as she described the mistreatment of one of the horses, Ginger, by a cruel overseer. And I remember the feeling of the world going still and being carried along by a story.

2. I love Westerns. One of my favorite books is Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner. It's a portrait of a marriage between an artist and an engineer as they pioneer their way west. It tracks their disappointments and triumphs and is an epic adventure in its way. You also get an earful about early mining practices!

3. I was born on leap year. This puts me in the same category as dolphins and eclipses and Stonehenge and Enya and all kinds of other mystical stuff. So, when you are considering getting a heavy silver pendant to wear around your neck, consider getting one with an imprint of me on it.

4. I once worked as a tour guide at Mount Vernon. Mount Vernon was the home of George Washington, one of the founders of my country, America. I led groups through the house, and they would point to artifacts and ask me about the historical significance. Sometimes I would know the answer, and sometimes I'd try to steer their attention to the same chair that swiveled on four whalebone rollers. Many people don't know this about George Washington, but he had a chair that swiveled on four whalebone rollers.

5. I recently moved to California. Every day is sunny and beautiful, but I miss the rain.

6. I like horror movies but I only ever want to watch the first thirty minutes of them (an endless source of irritation for my husband, understandably) before things go crazy and people start actually getting hurt. I like being absorbed in a sense of mystery without real life explanations.

7. Speaking of mysteries, I can't wait to read The Trespasser by Tana French.

8. I've been lucky enough to travel a bit, but my some of my favorite vacations have been with my husband to a cheap, 1960s hotel at a low-key beach in North Carolina, where you can afford to get a room right on the shore and on the way there you drive through the dozy jungly south and get fruit or the best peach ice cream ever at a roadside stand.

9. I used to be really lazy. When I was growing up I didn't do well in school and lacked motivation in many areas. But then I became not lazy, and wrote two books and got a job in television writing. I don't really know how or why that change came about.

10. My second novel, Losing It, just came out. It's about a woman who is 26 and a virgin and she's desperate to lose it, and then she moves in with her aunt, who is in her 50s, and also, it turns out, a virgin. It's not based on my life. You should get it. It's good.

Losing It by Emma Rathbone is out now (£8.99, MIRA)