To celebrate the release of his book The Cherries, author D. B. Carter has opened up for his readers, revealing the 10 things he'd like them all to know about him...

1. I know that love at first sight is true, because it happened to me. I met my wife 30 years ago and fell for her the moment I saw her – we got engaged three weeks later and married a year after that.

2. I taught myself to juggle by reading a maths paper. In the mid-90s, I was at home reading a science journal when I came across an article on the mathematics of juggling; for the first time I understood what performers were doing. I went to a wonderful little shop close to where we lived, which sold all sorts of unexpected items, and lo and behold they had a set of juggling balls. I juggled every day and it helped my chronic back pain. Sadly, I stopped practicing some years ago and I doubt I would be very impressive now.

3. I am addicted to cryptic crosswords. I have several books of them dotted around the house, which I pick up and puzzle over whenever I have a spare moment. I find them absorbing and relaxing, like having a conversation with the compiler.

4. I love the countryside and the small garden we have at home. I am not a natural gardener, but I adore roses and they they seem to respond to me. We also have a cherry tree in the front garden which blooms resplendently every year, and which inspired the eponymous house in my book, “The Cherries.”

5. I have a degree in computer science, from long ago when the term “Internet” was not a common term. After I graduated, I specialised in Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, so I follow the modern-day discussions on the subject with great interest.

6. I know a disturbingly large amount about vacuum cleaners. I spent over 20 years of my working life involved with them in one way or another, and for 15 years ran my own distributorship for home appliances.

7. My parents were both artists and I spent much of my early adult life running their art gallery. They both taught me how to draw and paint and I did sell a few examples of my own work before I changed vocation and went to university as a mature student. I still like to draw when I have time, and every year I create birthday and Christmas cards for my wife. I’m fascinated by art history and I collect antique prints and maps as a hobby.

8. I am terrible at remembering people’s names. It is not intentional, but I need to see someone a few times before it clicks with me (my wife was the only exception to this, as I remembered everything about her from the second we met). However, I do recall life stories; I love listening to people talking about their lives, and I don’t believe anyone has ever led a boring existence, whatever they may think.

9. I once cuddled a tiger. It was back in the 1970s when I was a small boy. My father had a large art gallery, which did a major event when David Shepherd’s ‘Tiger Fire’ print was launched in aid of wildlife conservation. My parents hosted a big reception, and someone had arranged for a tiger cub to be brought in. My sister and I were the only children there and we were asked if we would like to hold it; I said yes. I remember being struck by how heavy and powerful it already was. I suspect that health and safety may have moved on a bit since then, and small children would not be invited to cuddle tigers, in the unlikely event that they were even in the same room together.

10. I like stories with happy endings. Not that a happy ending necessarily means that the hero will end up with the person that you think they will at the beginning of the story, but that every bad thing will hopefully eventually be followed by something good, and we must try to weather the storm until we get there. It is about faith and hope.

The Cherries by D.B Carter is available from all good bookshops and online.

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