Friday, 16 October 2015

An anonymous interview

Looking through my files, I found these interview questions. I forget what, why, who, where or when I did them, but here they are with the answers.

1.    In 140 characters, what is your book / series about?
18th century Covent Garden prostitute solves crimes - short enough?

2.    When did you start writing?
Is this a trick question? I was about four. I was an avid reader. Writing just seemed a natural progression. At first it was just my name but I soon progressed to whole phrases. Ummm. I guess it’s not a trick question. I started writing in 1988. I was 31. My son had just been born. I wrote a ten minute script for Channel Four, which was brand spanking new at the time. I was short-listed and I just thought ‘I can do this’.

3.    What is your next project?
Never just working on one project at a time. Always got three or four on the go at the same time: French wartime tearjerker, 18th century prostitute solves crimes, ghosts in Paris and Marseilles, 17th century PParisian poisoner.

4.    What is your long term writing ambition?
To build up a body of work that will stand the test of time.

5.    How have you found the publishing process?
It’s a bloody nightmare. Agents are like gold dust and it's not getting any easier. Self-publishing on Amazon has become the slush pile. I still want to do it the old-fashioned way. I would work my socks off for an agent who believes in me.
6.    What did you learn from writing your first book?
To finish it.

7.    What two books would you take to a desert island?
John Steinbeck’s Grape of Wrath, and The Grifters by Jim Thompson.

8.    What was your favourite childhood book?
Muffin the Mule – it had a map. Love maps

9.    What are your three top writer tips?
Forget about waiting for the muse to hit. Just write every single day – good, bad or indifferent.
If you want to be a writer, quit saying it and just do it.
Finish what you’ve started.

10.  Why should people buy your book?
Because you can escape into another world and experience all the horrors, shocks, and excitement of that time. Because it sets your imagination free and allows you to be someone else for a short while. Because it’s a detective story and you love trying to work out ‘who dun it’.

11.  Do you plot or do you free-style in your writing?
I learned to write scripts for TV and film before coming to novels. I plot pretty much every damned thing and then I freestyle it.

  1. School lover or school hater?
Hated every moment of it – except for art.

  1. Who is your greatest supporter?
My son, Jacob.

  1. Twitter lover or Twitter hater? Why?
Used to hate it, then I loved it, now I hate it again. Worldwide Chinese whispers.

  1. What is the best TV series you have seen lately, why?
The Musketeers. Handsome pointy-bearded men. Do I need any other reason?

  1. Do you blog about anything else other than writing? If so, what?
I blogged about going to California in 2010. I have a website for the fountain I am rescuing along with the lovely people of the Friends of Priory Park.  On the whole though, I find it hard to blog. I'm too busy writing novels and scripts to blog much.

  1. What is your life motto?
Never give up


1.    Favourite flavour of ice-cream – I don’t eat ice cream
2.    Crisps or chocolate? – both but also neither – I don’t eat chocolate or crisps. I used to, but chocolate upsets my stomach and crisps are all fat.
3.    Tea or coffee? – I don’t drink either. I don’t do caffeine. I drink redbush and herbals. Aren't I boring?
4.    Wine or water? - Water
5.    Camping or glamping? – What the hell is glamping when it’s at home? I’m strictly a hotel only girl these days.
6.    Must your socks always match?  Oh yes, it is slothful to be otherwise dressed.
7.    If you were to have 5 famous people (dead or alive) to dinner who would they be? – Johnny Depp, Tom Waits, Marquis de Sade, now those three would have a ball together. James Boswell and Dr. Samuel Johnson.No women, sorry.
8.    If you could relive one moment from history, what would it be? Any of it. All of it.
9.    If you were Noah, which animal would you have left behind and why? – Humans. Do I really need to say why?
10.  Tell us an amusing secret that nobody else knows (fun not serious) – I intend on buying a derelict castle when I make my first million. When I make my second million I might be able to afford doing it up.
11.  Who would you most like to have a good rant at and why? – Women doing their make-up in public. Cheesh, finish your ablutions at home will you?

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