In these dystopian days of occasional truth, alternative facts and downright fake news - I will leave you to decide dear reader, which (if any) of the following are true.



I’m a real romantic – which most people wouldn’t guess about me. I believe in great love and passion, enduring for life and even beyond … Not for nothing, was Wuthering heights a teenage favourite.

I’m also shamingly sentimental - choirs, brass bands, Remembrance Sunday, sad animals, all reduce me to tears. At Christmas I watched (again) Wizard of Oz. To my cat’s shock and awe, by the time we got to “There’s no place like home”, I was blubbing as much as Dorothy.

I love food – so cooking’s my go-to therapy, from student years in a bedsit – thanks Delia and Heinz tomato soup – to the culinary spectaculars of Vera in my BBC Radio 4 Series, ‘Ladies of Letters’. Vera’s a self-styled exotic chef, notorious for her ‘don’t try this at home’ endeavours. She’s even posted tips on Instagram - “Open your fridge. Whatever the h---’s in it, cook. Dining improved by Prosecco. Or vodka. Or both.”

Personally, I find it’s better to sample the Prosecco (and/or vodka) whilst actually cooking. Adds exponentially to eruptions of creative genius.

My mum had green fingers and I inherited her love of growing things. In Lockdown 1, I planted fruit and veg for the first time since I was a kid helping out on my grandad’s allotment - to be fair, I spent most of my time in the potting shed, reading library books illicitly sneaked from my Nana – Madam Bovary at 12, anybody?

That reminds me - how do you prune an apple tree?

As a free-spirited, adventurous (some might say, reckless) Sagittarius, I love to travel. A bit of danger doesn’t go amiss either. I’ve had close encounters with electric storms in Mexico, geyser nosebleeds in Antigua, rattlesnakes in Arizona, to say nothing of Narco-Guerrillas in Colombia – honestly, I was only searching for a swimming pool on that nice-looking hacienda.

In 2019 I had a fantastic Trans -Siberian railway trip. Russia – Onion Domes, Bolshoi, & vodka (again). Mongolia – wild steppes, wild horses and (wild?) mutton. China - er... Fortunately, we didn’t go to Wuhan - the virus erupted 3 weeks later.

(For more stories, check out my travel podcasts at )

I’ve always adored fashion – the sillier the better. As a small child, I would don my Mum’s dance dresses and high heels, not forgetting her bright red lipstick. I would totter about in size six 4-inch heels, nearly breaking my neck as I attempted screen-goddess sweeps down the stairway.

Sad to say, I’m still wearing pyjamas at 3.30pm and I haven’t had lipstick on for a year.

In the late 60s I wore pale Mary Quant face powder with brilliant sparkly specks in it. I gave some to David Bowie for a part he was playing with Lindsay Kemp’s mime company - next time I saw ‘Cloud’ he was wafting across the stage in a swirl of iridescent white powder. Not long after, he recorded ‘The Rise and Fall..’ I like to think I did my part in the creation of Ziggy.

I’m drawn to the dark side – as my last novel ASFASK and my current opera The Hive – both about serial killing - testify. In my youth, I fancied being a foreign correspondent, or a (glamorous) MI6 agent.

I didn’t stray far - my favourite pastime is people-watching. Writers are always suspected of stealing stories, but that’s not how it works – stories get onto the page in their own mysterious way, plucked from the collective unconscious. Telling them is such fun and so central to our human condition – it’s my greatest pleasure to read aloud to an audience. I love applause - one of the troubles with virtual everything, is you never hear any! But I can dream….

Legacy by Carole Hayman is out exclusively by Audible.

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In my twenties, I was a Burlesque performer. I’d been obsessed with vintage since I was a child, so when I discovered neo-Burlesque, I started working on a routine, that (because I can never do anything in a straightforward manner) consisted of satirical feminist poetry followed by striptease. Those years were some of the most incredible of my life, despite men asking me if it meant I was a “whore” or a “prostitute”, which was nice... to read more click HERE