I am really glad you’ve accepted my interview. Thank you so much for taking the time to answer my questions.
Can you tell us a bit more about how you became a writer?
I’m not sure I can pinpoint an exact moment. The nice thing about writing is you don’t need anyone’s permission – you just put pen to paper!
But I started devoting a lot of time to writing fiction in my late 20s. I found that – thanks to a series of monotonous office jobs – I needed another ‘dimension’ to my life. I wanted to experience more things, even if they were only on paper. I loved imagining other worlds and characters while I was, say, stood at the bus stop or using the photocopier. It helped me to find excitement and meaning in my days.
Was it difficult for the first book to find a publisher?
I was very lucky in that I studied at Faber Academy in London where I met my agent who helped me to find a publisher. I am well aware that other people might not be able to afford to take such a writing course; some day – if I ever earn enough money – I’d like to help other people to enjoy the same opportunities. The world of literature needs more diversity.
Could you describe literature in three words?
All about empathy.
Is there a book you would never read? Why?
I’m generally quite open-minded about what I read. One of my favourite things about being part of a book group is being ‘forced’ to read something not usually to my taste and discovering an unexpected new love.
What’s your favorite book?
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro.
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” Oscar Wilde.
EBooks or paper print?
Paper print. (Sorry trees.)
What inspires you?
I find music very inspiring. At the moment I can’t stop listening to Tindersticks – their songs bring to mind lots of images and colours, especially if I listen to them while lying on the sofa with my eyes closed. I recommend it.
Imagine you were given the opportunity to meet a book character in real life. Who would that be?
Heathcliff from Wuthering Heights. He’s just so ruggedly handsome.
What’s your worst nightmare?
My daughter becoming very ill. My heart goes out to anyone who has to go through this.
The best decision of your life was?
My husband and I took a few months to backpack around South America (including three months staying in Buenos Aires – an amazing city). And then we lived in Sydney, Australia for almost three years. We soaked up so many experiences that we’ll hopefully remember for decades to come. It helped to strengthen our relationship too, since we went through so much together and learnt how to get along on all of those endless bus journeys.
I can’t wait to read your next book. Are you currently working on a project? Is there any release date to reveal?
I’m currently taking a break while on maternity leave – my baby daughter is quite a handful (in a fun way) and I’m focussing on being a mum. Having said that, there is a story brewing in my mind so hopefully I will get back to writing soon.