Ruth Rendell has received many awards for her work including the Crime Writers’ Association Cartier Diamond Dagger (lifetime achievement award), the Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence and three Edgar Awards, the highest accolade from Mystery Writers of America.
Her remarkable career has spanned more than 40 years, with over 60 books published, including those under the pseudonym of Barbara Vine. She was awarded a CBE in 1996 and made a life peer. She serves in the House of Lords as Baroness Rendell of Babergh.
1. What inspires your writing? Do you draw inspiration from other authors?
I don't think anything inspires my writing. I just write because I like it and because it's what I do. Other writers' work - I am a great reader - has made me want to write as well as they do, in which endeavour I fail. But I do think setting a high standard for oneself is a good idea and not to be content with lazy work or saying "It will do".
2. Do you have a favourite character?
I don't seem to have favourite character but I have many in the novels of Graham Greene, LP Hartley and EM Forster.
3. How do you feel about e-readers? Do they help or hinder children’s reading?
I don't much like e-readers, though I have a Kindle but I don't use it much. When I go away I still prefer to carry a paperback. I doubt if using an e-reader makes much difference to children's reading. If they like to read they will read never mind whether it's a flat solid block or a stack of printed pages.
4. One person in six struggles with basic literacy; in your opinion, is enough being done to promote and develop literacy skills?
More should be done to promote literacy skills. I think that Quick Reads books, of which I have written two, help quite a lot, judging from the feedback I get from people whose reading skills were helped by my first Quick Reads title.
5. Why have you chosen to support the National Literacy Trust?
I support the National Literacy Trust because I think everyone should be able to share in what has been one of the great pleasures and delights of my life and still is.