1. I have far too many animals. Currently I am hosting three dogs, three cats, four chickens, six pigeons, a snake and a lizard. Oh, and two guinea pigs. No, I don’t know why. Individually they all made sense; collectively not so much.

Abbi Waxman, Adult Assembly Required

Abbi Waxman, Adult Assembly Required

2. I like cake better than pie. Moreover, the pies I like are the ones that are most like cake: lemon meringue, banana cream, etc. When I imagined my future kitchen (I was a strange little girl) there was always a layer cake under a dome on my counter, as if future me was running a diner. I am 51, I have a cake stand, I have a plastic cake dome, and I frequently have cake under it. Yes, dreams do come true.

3. My mother is American, came to England in the sixties because of the Beatles, and is a retired, successful mystery writer (Paula Gosling). I would love to write mysteries myself, but I get distracted by the characters and forget to make it complicated and twisty. Maybe when I grow up.

4. I was raised in Bath, went to university in London, and moved to New York when I was 21. I have a degree in Anthropology, which is of no practical use but which was an amazing subject for a nosy people-watcher to study.

5. I have three daughters; one born in NYC, one born in Berkeley, California, and one born in Los Angeles. The eldest is at Edinburgh University, and the other two are close behind. Not entirely sure how I feel about the whole empty-nest thing. I suspect it will be just as confounding as parenting was, and I will just about get the hang of it when everything will change again.

6. I enjoy my work and feel fortunate to do it, however I spend most of my time in a froth of anxiety that I’ve forgotten how to do it, and that this time I’m not going to finish the book. It hasn’t gotten any easier, I haven’t gotten any better at getting it done, and I have a sneaking suspicion that this is just how it is.

7. Finally, I want my readers to know that I think about them a lot while I’m writing. Not in a creepy way, hopefully, but I definitely think about whether they will like something or not, or hope they notice a reference or like a joke. Hearing from readers is easily the best part of my job. Though, you know, there’s also the dress code (lax), the hours (short) and the physical effort (minimal) . . . but yeah, overall, the readers are the best thing.