Nameless is about Londoner Ruby Darke, who lost her children during the Second World War – one to a life of cosseted luxury, the other to a life of crime. She fights for 30 years to get them back.
You are fascinated with London, why is this?
I’m fascinated by London because I truly believe it’s the greatest city in the world, full of history and fabulous buildings, culture and social diversity.
This is the first in a series of new novels, so what can you tell us about the next in line?
Nameless is my 7th novel – my 8th, due out in 2013, returns to one of my readers’ favourite characters ANNIE CARTER, the gritty hard-as-nails heroine of Dirty Game, Black Widow, Scarlet Women and Playing Dead.
You became interseted in mixed race parents in 2006, so when did you decide that you were going to make it into a book?
I decided I could make the mixed-race parents a theme for a book by gradual degrees- as any writer knows, these things just percolate down very slowly, idea by idea, until there’s enough to fill up a book.
Who is the new character of Ruby based upon?
Ruby Darke isn’t based on anyone in particular – she’s an amalgam of character facets from lots of people I know. She’s tough, determined, hardworking, and she has by accident of birth and the times she’s lived through become caught up in an impossible – and dangerous – situation.
Who do you most like to read?
For relaxation and sheer escapism I like to read historical novels – Philippa Gregory and the excellent C J Sansom – I’m reading his ‘Heartstone’ at the moment.
Your previous novels, were all bestsellers, so how did this make you feel as a writer?
It’s fabulous that all my books are bestsellers. As a novelist you just do your best, tell the story in as gripping a way as possible, and hope your readers are hooked by it. When you know they are, it’s an unbeatable feeling.
Who have been your main influences in writing this book?
That’s a difficult one. People often ask me where I get my ideas from, and I always tell them, from life in general – from the people I meet, from news media, places I visit, things like that. In the case of Nameless, a short 2006 article about mixed race parents producing twins of differing colours sparked the idea that became the book.
What jobs did you do before you got into writing?
Before I became a full-time writer, I sliced bacon in the deli in the Co-op, worked in a florist, a dental surgery, various offices and helped my ex-husband run a photography business. I think you can say I diversified! But all I ever wanted to be was a writer.