A. Tour guide, miner, waitress, kitchen assistant.
A. Writing! I like editing and revising more than facing the blank page, I'll admit.
A. Dunsmuir High off the Metchosin Road, Colwood, Victoria, BC, Canada
A. too hard!
A. 'The Palm Beach Story', directed by Preston Sturges
A. Most recently here in the UK I loved a series called 'Downton Abbey' - Upstairs/Downstairs for the 21st century!
A. Happy, busy, quiet and exciting, dull and noisy.
A. My mother was a great one for maxims, me less so. However, I'm a great believe in optimism, however unfounded. Plus I always like to have my next holiday booked and planned.
A. Happiness for me is really good meal in a really great restaurant with my husband and our two kids. There's something about a good restaurant - well-run, well-designed, with good lighting, good service, and of course good food - that I find irresistable and impossibly glamorous. I grew up in towns where nice restaurants didn't really exist, so I love getting dressed up and going out to eat somewhere nice.
A. I'm a mother, so anything to do with my kids and the word 'harm' is terrifying.
A. Well, I have an office in my garden that we built two years ago and the honest truth is I'm there right now, and I love it.
A. The servants and labourers and teachers; the people who worked hard and are not remembered, like many generations of my family.
A. I was born cynical I'm afraid.
A. I went through a phase when I kept saying 'crikey' which is an English expression, meaning 'gosh', that no one uses any more. My English husband (I'm Canadian) made me stop.
A. I had a trip book to go see my mum but I got the worst flu I've ever had, and couldn't travel. Five weeks later she died.
A. Definitely the ability to fly.
A. I think I conveniently forget certain things I've done, but I'm not sure, I can't remember!
A. Better ask someone else!
A. Count Dracula, from the novel 'Dracula' by Bram Stoker
A. Sally Naldrett, of course, the main character from 'The Mistress of Nothing'! I'd love to find out what really happened to her after she left Lucie Duff Gordon's household.
A. The global banking crisis, and the way the bankers continue to profit from it.
A. Reading of course!
A. My job title at the university where I work part-time is Reader in Creative Writing and New Media. 'Reader' is a British academic title that is one rank below 'Professor'. But it would be great if what it really meant was 'reader' - the perfect job for me!
A. Trustworthiness, humour, and spark.
A. Good bread with extra virgin olive oil and salt.
A. 'Purple Rain' by Prince, 'God Save the Queen' by the Sex Pistols, 'Crazy' by Gnarls Barclay, 'Ring of Fire' by Johnny Cash, and 'I See a Darkness' by Bonnie Prince Billy
A. Alistair MacLeod, Margaret Atwood, Philip Roth, Lynne Tillmann, and Geoff Dyer
A. Too hard, it's just too hard!!
A. 'The Great Gatsby'
A. When it comes to writing, speed is not a virtue; good writing takes time.
A. With 'The Mistress of Nothing' readers seem to really enjoy being transported up the Nile alongside my characters.