Mavis Cheek describes herself as one in a line of feminist, subversive women authors – with jokes. Her first published novel, Pause between Acts (1988) won the She/John Menzies Prize. She mentions Jane Austen, George Eliot, Arnold Bennett, Stella Gibbons, William Boyd and Beryl Bainbridge as her “literary heroes”, and has herself been described as “Jane Austen in Modern Dress”. Mavis Cheek is the author of 15 novels (all still in print), teaches creative writing for the Arvon Foundation (including in prisons), and was a moving force behind the Marlborough LitFest. She has been Royal Literary Fund fellow at Chichester University (twice) and at the University of Reading. In 2011 and 2012 she was the judge for the Society of Authors’ McKitterick Prize, awarded for a first novel.