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Favorite TV show?
Grey’s Anatomy, Brothers & Sisters, Lost, Homeland, Six Feet Under. Oh. Was I meant to just say one? Oops!
What’s your idea of an ideal day?
Long coast path walkies with the dog, lunch out with friends, fishing trip out on our boat in the afternoon and barbecue for dinner with fresh mackerel caught on the boat trip.
Have you been told you look like someone famous?
Not as far as I know!
If you could eliminate one thing from your daily schedule, what would it be?
Seeing the ‘To Do’ list with things that have been on it for weeks.
If you were to get a tattoo, what would it be? Why?
I don’t like pain. I wouldn’t get a tattoo!
What has been one of your most interesting jobs?
The one I have now, because researching books has taken me to all sorts of amazing places.
If someone rented a billboard for you, what would you put on it?
‘Emily Windsnap: The Movie, coming soon!’ Because in my fantasy, it would be!
If you were to perform in the circus, what would you do?
I’d love to have the courage to do something daring like be a trapeze artist, but I’d more likely be the clown.
What is one of the scariest things you’ve ever done?
I’m such a wimp, I tend to avoid scary things! I guess flying over the Grand Canyon in a tiny helicopter. But I was so nervous I missed some of it as I had my eyes closed!!!
If you could bring one character to life from your favorite book, who would it be?
It’s got to be Emily Windsnap.
Who’s your favorite fictional villain?
My own Mr. Beeston!
What initially inspired you to pursue a career in writing?
Just a really, really strong feeling that this was what I’d always wanted to do and I was determined to make it work.
What books are you reading right now?
Just finished Julia Green’s ‘Northern Sky’. (Beautiful) And John O’ Farrell’s ‘This is Your Life’ (Very funny.)
Name someone who supported your writing journey outside of family members.
My English teacher from school.
Was there ever a time in your writing career where you wanted to seriously give up? If so, how did you find the motivation to continue?
There have been times with quite a few of my books where I’ve thought I couldn’t do it and have worried that I might not be able to finish that particular book – but thankfully, up to now, I’ve always got over it and have never seriously considered giving up.
What do you think you do best in your writing? Bragging is encouraged.
Yikes! I’m not very good at bragging! I don’t know what I do best but maybe getting into the voice of my main character. Or chapter endings. I do like a good cliffhanger.
What books have most influenced your life?
There’s a very beautiful and heartbreaking book called ‘The Diving-Bell and the Butterfly’ by Jean-Dominique Bauby. This book made me realize that if he could produce such an incredible work of beauty when he was in the terrible situation he was in, then anything is possible.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
There are always things you want to change. Sometimes when I’m reading aloud from a book at an event, I find myself editing as I go along as I realize I’ve used the same word three times in one paragraph or something. But I tend to think that once it’s written and edited and out there, you have to let it go. No one is perfect – and that counts for our books too.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in writing? What comes easily?
Sometimes it all feels challenging and other times it flows relatively smoothly. It’s all part of the journey though. After doing this job for a little over a decade, I think I have come to accept the roughs and the smoothes and not take any of it too seriously.