My favourite place for writing inspiration is Formentera in the Balearic Isles: I first went there about twenty years ago and fell in love with the simple beauty. Although it’s the place I feel most home in the whole world, I’ve never written anything that’s based there – don’t think I could ever do it justice. Even though it’s a tiny island I manage to find somewhere new to explore every time I go there.
I love driving holidays: I once drove from New York to San Francisco and I’ve also driven the length of Costa Rica. The most exciting thing about driving holidays is that you can take as many diversions as you want and get to see parts of the different countries that you just don’t experience when you’re on a tour. Like wandering onto a film set in the middle of the desert in the Mojave Desert and driving through a river near the Panamanian border.
I’m a massive animal lover: I have a Chihuahua called Pablo who is also one of my best friends. My partner has a English Bulldog called Barney and surprisingly, the two dogs get on amazingly well, despite their difference in size, temperament and personalities. They love to play together and create all kinds of mischief – they really are both adorable and very much a huge part of the family.
My favourite outdoor activity is bouldering: I’ve always loved rocks and climbing, especially in Spain where the dramatic landscapes and gullies that stretch along the coastline provide heart-stopping views and amazing caving opportunities. I once fell several feet through a cave roof – luckily the only thing broken was my mobile phone. I’ve destroyed quite a few of those over the years.
I’m a bit DIY obsessed! I love renovating old houses and getting dirty with a hammer. Problem is, I’m quite a clumsy person so I’m often seen with a plaster on my finger or cuts on my face – which isn’t particularly attractive nor professional but I’m fairly handy with a drill and have plastered a wall or two in my time. I hate gloss paint though –that’s the job I’ll ALWAYS outsource J
I used to know all the dialling codes in the UK: I’m a somewhat self-confessed geek but this was once part of my job when I worked in a call centre while supplementing my income at university. A friend of mine and I would often have a ‘dial-off’ at parties after a few glasses of wine and see who could keep going with answering random dialling code challenges the longest. Thankfully, most of that has been erased from my memory over the years but if I ever hear someone saying 01793 I can’t help but responding, Swindon, with a very straight face.
Jazz & olives: Someone once told me that you had to like both of these to be an adult. I do now, but I’m still waiting…
I often think about the end of the world: I love post-apocalyptic fiction which is why I write it. I love to imagine what human tendencies would survive if something hugely catastrophic were to happen but, more importantly, if we were to start civilisation again from scratch, how would we do it? What would we keep and what would we dispense with? How would we structure ourselves and what would become important? See, I could go on for hours…
I have one foot bigger than the other: My right foot is a size 3.5 and my left one is 4.5. I use that as an excuse as to why I’m so clumsy. One of my shoes never fits.
I love singing. If I could have any talent, I think I’d like to have one of those voices that is so phenomenal, it can stop traffic. I’m very much a group singer – can’t hold a solo tune but I adore singing as part of a group. I’ve been part of a choir for almost ten years and I rehearse with them every week, even when I’ve got a writing deadline to hit. Singing releases endorphins and lifts your spirits, I find that it’s a great mood enhancer and, strangely, a brilliant way to feel peaceful in the world.