I’m always losing stuff. Sunglasses and mobile phones just seem to disappear. Sometimes I can blame my children, like the time when I found my phone secreted behind a radiator three months later (I wonder why, hmmm…), but it’s also just me. I once drove off with my wallet on the roof of my car.

I would love to go back in time and attend a ball in the Regency or cross the ocean in a square-rigged ship, but I wouldn’t want to stay there. Smallpox? The death penalty for quite minor crimes? The list of horrors is endless. Just nope.

I work part-time in a second-hand and antiquarian bookshop – a very useful occupation for a writer. I’m always raiding the history shelves, and the eclectic selection has been known to send my characters off in all sorts of directions – using home remedies as poison, Napoleonic code, books of Georgian-era letters…

I have a young family as well as a job, so I need to be disciplined if I want to find the time to write. There’s always something I could be doing instead. My favourite time for writing is first thing in the morning – it seems to flow more easily then. I remember a mad moment when my youngest was a baby who started the day at 5 am but also woke up in the night at 2 am. I realised I’d have to wake at 3 am to write for a couple of hours – I definitely had to sacrifice my early mornings for a while.

I’d love to be an amazing baker but my cakes look like Pinterest fails, every single time. I once made cupcakes with blue icing for a family party, and they came out completely flat, like carb-heavy flying saucers.

Growing up, I was the least sporty person imaginable. I went to gymnastics and trampolining for fun, but was terrible at it. Our local leisure centre has a crèche, and so guess what? For the last eight years I’ve been a gym regular – a person I never thought I’d be. It goes without saying that having small children is a huge privilege and can be great fun but, oh, the things I’d do for time on my own.

My garden never lives up to the image of it I have in my head. There are gaps where there should be flowers or too much green at odd seasons, and I can’t manage the constant offensive against weeds. Destroying bindweed armed with a cold beer is pretty therapeutic, though.

To keep up with my writing, I’ve been known to go completely dark on social media. It’s a feeling of great freedom and made me much better at staying in touch with real life friends, but after a while I missed online buddies and realised I had to find a balance.

I always wanted to be an archaeologist. I content myself these days by using history and archaeology as inspiration for writing, but am gearing myself up to study it again one day.

I failed my driving test six times, for repetitions of a different minor fault on each occasion. I’ve surprised myself by growing to enjoy driving. I guess it’s an excuse to sit down without the possibility of being interrupted or having to get up.

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