What would you be if you weren’t a writer?
Crazier than I am now. But if I could have multiple lives, I’d have also liked to have been a midwife, or a knitwear designer. Or perhaps an entrepreneur – I get lots of ideas for businesses, but never have the time, energy or motivation to carry them through.
When I was young and really into science fiction, I wanted to be an astronaut. I’m pretty small, so I figured I wouldn’t take up much room in a spaceship, and I loved the idea of travelling around the universe, discovering new things. Alas, I soon found out I was rubbish at science, scared of heights, and even getting in a plane turns me into a jibbering wreck
If you like science-fiction so much, why don’t you write it?
I don’t know. I just don’t seem to have that kind of imagination. I like getting lost in the worlds other people have invented, rather than having to go to all the effort of making them up myself.
Tell us a few of your favourite things – apart from writing, of course.
My kids, who’d probably prefer to remain nameless. My terriers, Stanley and Mrs Perkins. My garden. Walking. Reading, obviously. Watching great films and dramas. Knitting and crochet (yeah, maybe a bit sad, but not as sad as it used to be – check out all the cool people on Ravelry.) Hanging out with good friends. Soggy, salty chips by the seaside. Brass bands. Cool ink pens and jewel-coloured inks. Travelling. Staying at home.
What do you listen to when you’re writing?
Mainly the ringing in my ears – tinnitus runs in the family. I rarely put on music because I find it too distracting. But I often have a mental playlist for certain scenes.
My all-time favourite book is The Master and Margarita by Mixhail Bulgakov. One of my professors recommended it to me when I was learning Russian, and I’m forever grateful. It’s absolute genius. I love Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger – you could say it was the first teen novel, though he did intend it for adults. Thinking about it, it was probably the book that most inspired me to write YA, along with I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith. I’ve tons of others favourites, but I’ll stick to three or we’ll be here all day.