Peggy Seeger is a musician and writer. Her memoir First Time Ever was published by Faber & Faber in 2017.
Tell us what you do in 20 words.
I sing, write songs and give concerts.
Which writer would you have loved to have met and why?
Honore de Balzac – his powers of observation and his ability to describe a whole era in French life entranced me. I read the whole of La Comedie Humaine because of this.
You’re stranded on a desert island. What three books would you want with you?
La Comedie Humaine – all 52 volumes, Shakespeare’s collected works and A Scots Quair by Lewis Grassic Gibbon.
What’s next on your reading list?
The History of Bees by Maja Lunde.
What is the single biggest challenge facing the publishing industry right now?
Phones are obsessing would-be readers. Limited attention span and need for constant ‘excitement’ work against leisured and informative reading.
What is the one piece of advice you’d give to someone starting out in publishing today?
Start at the bottom and learn it all.
Which is your favourite bookshop or e-bookstore and why?
Any local, family-run or non-chain bookstore. Bookstores need to fit their locality as well as the world.
Which great novel have you tried to read but failed?
Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses.
Go on, let us know your musical guilty pleasure.
I don’t have one.
And your one from the world of fiction?
Anything that I read becomes immediately non-guilty.