A. I’ve worked in the public and voluntary sectors in community project roles, including at a women’s refuge, and for a Member of Parliament.
A. I've had some lovely jobs, but writing is best.
A. City University London.
A. Past: ‘The Jewel in the Crown’. Present: ‘Sherlock’.
A. Books, cats, art, and a cup of tea.
A. ‘Try again. Fail again. Fail better.’ – Samuel Beckett
A. Breakfast in bed.
A. That one day my husband will refuse to catch the spiders which find their way indoors, and I’ll have to learn to do it myself.
A. I love city breaks, but I love being at home too.
A. I identify with Virginia Woolf’s frailty and self-doubt, her eccentric lifestyle and drab domesticity. When she writes about writing, lots of it rings true.
A. Hilary Mantel.
A. Intuition. Colour. Breath.
A. Any time spent looking back, when I should be looking forwards.
A. I wish my handwriting was neater.
A. A happy marriage.
A. There are so many, and this is a rather tiny box! Let’s go with ... being moody.
A. A loving heart.
A. Florence + the Machine.
A. I’m a bit too tall.
A. Hazel from ‘Watership Down’. You have to admire a bunny rabbit with leadership skills.
A. Lady Marchmain from ‘Brideshead Revisited’. She’s toxic.
A. I wish I could tell you, but I’m currently writing about her. Or him.
A. People who complain too much.
A. Going to the theatre or an art gallery. Or both, ideally.
A. Devising and writing episodes of Columbo.
A. Compassion. Humour. Serenity.
A. ‘Make you Feel My Love’ by Bob Dylan; ‘Shake it Out’ by Florence + the Machine; ‘Blind’ by Hercules and Love Affair; ‘Heat Wave’ by Martha and the Vandellas; ‘Sweet Dreams’ by Eurythmics
A. There are so many! Here are just a few names which spring to mind: Sarah Waters, Tracy Chevalier, Salley Vickers, Hilary Mantel, Virginia Woolf, Barbara Kingsolver, Michael Cunningham, David Mitchell and Evelyn Waugh. There are plenty others, of course. I am changeable.
A. Only 5? Harsh ... ‘I Capture the Castle’ by Dodie Smith; ‘Just Kids’ by Patti Smith; ‘A Place of Greater Safety’ by Hilary Mantel; ‘A Room of One’s Own’ by Virginia Woolf; ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ by Charlotte Perkins Gilman.
A. ‘Brideshead Revisited’ by Evelyn Waugh. I've revisited several times.
A. Practice, practice, practice.
A. ‘Is it a novel, or short stories?’