My birthday is on 24th January. On that date in 1984, Ted Bundy, one of America’s worst serial killers, was executed. That’s a complete coincidence. It’s not like I’ve got a half-a-dozen books on the man and his crimes and am fascinated by the guy. Honestly. Oh, and I don’t own an old-style VW Beetle (at least, not yet...).

Mark Sennen

Mark Sennen

Years ago (before I was published) my wife said that I liked the idea of being a writer, but not the work that went with it. What she meant by this was if you want to be a writer then you have to, you know, write. There are no shortcuts, no courses, no magic ‘how to’ books. At some point you need to stop prevaricating and start writing. I grudgingly admitted my wife was right (she usually is) and set to work on finishing my first book.

A book reviewer said I was the master of the twisty narrative, but I’ll let you into a secret: I never plot any of my novels in advance. Instead I write scenes. A whole bunch in no particular order with only the vaguest idea of where the story is going. Once that’s done, I look for ways of linking them. I pull out various threads and tie the whole thing in a knot. Sometimes it’s only at the very end of the process that everything comes together.

I hardly ever watch TV. People are always saying ‘Did you see...?’ and I usually have to apologise that I didn’t. However, I do make time for programmes like Game of Thrones, House of Cards and Breaking Bad. No coincidence they are all American because I think US script writers are a step or two ahead of the rest.

Having said I don’t watch much television, I would dearly love the Charlotte Savage books to be made into a TV series. Dartmoor and the coast of Devon have some of the best scenery in the UK (ask Steven Spielberg about Dartmoor) and would provide a dramatic backdrop. I’m not quite sure who would play DI Savage, but Rosamund Pike (Gone Girl) or Lena Heady (Game of Thrones) would be good. My favourite for the role would be Rebecca Ferguson (Mission Impossible, The Girl on the Train). Dream on!

I live in a tiny cottage by a muddy estuary in deepest South Devon. In the summer the place is idyllic. There are kingfishers, numerous seabirds and even otters. However, in the winter it’s wet, damp and cold. The wind howls in the trees and at night it’s dark. Very dark. The perfect atmosphere for writing creepy thrillers.

My favourite author is Cormac McCarthy. Difficult to read, sometimes brutally violent, but always with something to say on life and death.

I play the drums (quite well) and the ukulele (passably). I’d swap publishing success for the chance to be a rock and roll star any day of the week.

I’m a political junkie so the last couple of years have been great. My favourite dish is a stew consisting of copious amounts of Laura Kuenssberg mixed with a sprinkling of John Pienaar. Throw in Andrews Marr and Neil and mix with a porridge of broadsheets. Add a dash of Twitter and serve over a selection of party manifestos. Heaven.

My mum told me that you can have anything you want in life, but you can’t have everything. I think that’s a pretty good philosophy to follow. Go after your dreams, but don’t waste your time chasing endless rainbows.