I love a cheeky tipple
I actually took a WSET qualification in wine tasting and for a short while afterwards tried to comment intelligently on each glass I consumed. Now I'm back to just enjoying it! One thing that has stuck is the need to always have something salty with red wine - it really makes a difference. Go on, try it.
I studied scriptwriting…
…before I started writing novels. I love the banter between friends and hope I've reflected this in my books. Recently I've met another scriptwriter and we're discussing creating some short films. She seems to have the same sense of humour as me so I'm hoping we'll have great fun whatever we do.
Writing is a lonely profession
It took me a while to realise this. I read an article which said that if you're going to write, be prepared for these lonely days. It's advice was to have a regular exercise regime and to get outside every day. It works. I'd also add, find yourself a writing group that you enjoy.
My characters keep me awake
If I ever write something that isn't true to their nature then I can't sleep until I've worked out how I'm going to change it.
My dog stops me losing the plot
I have a chocolate Labrador who needs walking for a couple of hours a day. If I'm ever struggling with the storyline, he gets walked for even longer. It's amazing how just spending that time away from the computer helps it all to come together.
I worked in marketing for over 20 years.
It's not that different to writing; for both jobs, you have to be able to put yourself in someone else's shoes. If I'm advertising to young men, I need to know their feelings, how they speak and their motivations. It was pretty good practise when I think about it.
I love rock music
Like my character Angie, I grew up in the eighties. However, I wasn't really into Madonna or Cyndi - I loved Guns n' Roses, Bon Jovi and AC/DC. If I hear the opening riffs to any of their hits then I can't be held responsible for my actions.
I'm hiking the Wainwrights
I love the mountains and have hiked around the world visiting the Alps, Andes and Himalayas. In Britain we have some of the most beautiful mountain scenery. I spend a great deal of time up in Cumbria where there are 214 Wainwrights and at the moment, I have 70 to complete.
A saying that works for me is…
'Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.' It's from Pablo Picasso and I think it's spot on. You can't wait to feel inspired, you have to sit down every day and write. On some days, you'll delete everything you wrote the day before but inevitably, you'll have worked out what to do and the next day the words will flow.
Angie and Patty will be back
I'm just finishing the sequel to The Mercury Travel Club. When you spend so much time with characters, you don't want to let them go. They've grown a little, are facing some fairly tough times but throughout everything that happens to them, remain the kind of friends that we all need in life.