This one won't surprise anyone but I have a thing about blacksmiths – fire + muscles + sweat = HELLO! When I was researching the Star and Sixpence stories, I spent a day working in a forge and made my very own toasting fork – and it was hard work. I appreciated the skill involved even more after that!
I once got myself and a group of friends barred from a pub. I was a nineteen year old student, it was an empty country pub we'd gone to so that we could use the pool table and we were each buying our own drinks. I went first, ordering an orange juice and the landlady asked me sourly if we were splitting it between us. "Yes please," I said, widening my eyes. "Have you got four straws?"
I have a recurring dream where I am about to go on stage and suddenly realise I don't know my lines. So I have to bluff my way through and try to fool the audience. Sometimes I don't have the right costume, either. You don't have to be Freud to figure this one out.
I am allergic to popcorn! Which is a major hardship because I love it, especially the salty, buttery kind, and it makes going to the cinema a bit of a torturous experience. There's nothing worse than being able smell popcorn and not eat it. I make up for it by eating ALL the ice cream but it's not the same.
I have been in love with Indiana Jones since I was eleven years old – I used to have a giant Raiders of the Lost Ark poster on my wall and I kissed it every night. In fact, Raiders of the Lost Ark is probably my most-watched film – I have probably seen it around fifty times. Needless to say, I can quote it endlessly, which is every bit as impressive as it sounds.
Once I realised I couldn't marry Indiana Jones, I fell in love with Philip Schofield and devised a detailed (written) plan on how I would move to London and make him fall in love with me. And I did move to London (to study Archaeology at university – absolutely due, in part, to my Dr Jones obsession) but when I finally did meet Philip, I was so busy trying to be witty and clever that I think I annoyed him. We are still not married.
I spent a summer living above a pub with my then-boyfriend, who was the cellarman – that's how I know a little bit about running a cellar. But we had to move out when the landlady split up from her husband: she came home early one day to find him dancing around the bedroom dressed in her underwear. I promise I'm not making this up.
My favourite country to visit is Italy and my favourite city is Rome. So I suppose it isn't a great surprise that my new novella series features an Italian ice cream shop. I do have to think about ice cream a lot as a result.
After the devastating deaths of George Michael and Carrie Fisher at the end of 2016, I've decided to make 2017 the year I write to all the people I admire. First up is Barack Obama, followed by Michelle Obama (because I won't have their address for much longer) and then Harrison Ford, obviously. I have a lot of people to write to…
My best friends are a group of amazing, wonderful women who inspire me every day. You know the saying that if you ever find yourself being the most talented person room then you need to find a new room? With friends like mine, I'll never have to find a new room. And I wouldn't have it any other way.