My Golden Retriever puppy – now ten months – eats into my word count, like my shoes. Whenever other writers ask if they should get a dog, I tell them to put back their deadline by six months. They shriek and do it anyway.
My best writing is always done when I’m working around the clock and live, breathe and dream work. It’s not sustainable. My kids hate it. And people always say how grey and knackered I look. But it’s the only way to get words to really sing.
When I get stuck on plot points I Google plants. I now have an encyclopedic knowledge of garden perennials in my head. Ask me anything.
I find it hard to switch off when I’m deep in the writing of a book. Running and swimming sort of work. Yoga doesn’t. I’ve come up with some great plot twists doing downward dog.
I make a mean rhubarb crumble. I’ve got a sweet tooth. But I like my sweet with a bit of sour. (Proudly, I’ve only ever had one filling.)
I have ridiculously wide feet, like a yeti. And a high arch. Buying shoes is impossible.
Sometimes I can’t read. If I’ve been writing all day, I find it really hard. So I lie in the bath and flick through plant catalogues. Heaven.
I love the company of other writers. It doesn’t matter how many books they’ve sold, they all remember The Fear – I haven’t got another book in me, it’s all going horribly wrong, I’m unemployable to do anything else - and many still have it.
I only started to drive in my forties. Initially it was terrifying – hazards, hazards, everywhere! – but now I enjoy it. Sort of. I forced myself to drive because I didn’t want to be someone who was scared of things.
I reuse my teabags, like a student. My favourite is Lady Grey. I drink a lot of tea.