I published my first novel when I was fifty-nine, and my message to anyone who would love to write but thinks “it’s too late for me” would be “think again”, because it isn’t. It is something I put off for years, and I only gave myself time when we were snowed in for a few days. Once I’d started, I couldn’t stop.
I love German Shepherds. We have recently been lucky enough to get a new puppy – she’s called Coco – and she’s our fourth GSD. She’s a bundle of energy, but living on the beautiful island of Alderney there are so many fantastic places to walk her (although currently not quite as often as we would like). Her favourite place is a deserted white sandy beach where she can chase her ball and dive in the (freezing) sea!
I’d always choose chocolate over crisps. Chocolate is so soothing, and after a day writing about scary scenarios, there’s nothing better to relax with. Dark chocolate is my favourite, especially chocolate gingers, but any chocolate will do.
The first book I fell in love with was Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. It made me realise that sometimes a reader might want the guilty to escape justice! But it was the writing that hooked me. The sheer magic of the way du Maurier expresses tension and fear through use of language is the reason I have returned to this book many times.
My office is Victorian gunpowder shelter. Alderney is an island full of old Victorian forts, and a small number of these have been restored and turned into homes. I’m lucky enough to have lived in two of them, and my current home has gardens riddled with underground (and over ground) bunkers. My gunpowder shelter is the perfect site for an office, where I feel shut off from the world so that I can focus on the imaginary people who take over my life when I’m writing.
I have done two parachute jumps for charity. After the first one, people were telling me it was the most exciting thing they had ever done. I hadn’t found that – perhaps because I was too nervous. So I did it again, and ended up in A&E – fortunately my ankle was just badly sprained and not broken!
I used to run an interactive media company, producing software and websites. In the early nineties we were contracted to produce an interactive version of Cluedo. Creating the plot outlines for multiple outcomes ignited a desire in me to write thrillers, and although it was almost twenty years before I wrote my first novel, the ambition never died.