Why do you write?
I write because I love telling stories and creating characters.
Is writing your first love or do you have another passion?
I came relatively late in life to writing, but I’ll always consider it my first love (along with my family, of course).
What was the first book that made you cry?
‘Her Benny’ by Silas Hocking. My primary school teacher read it to us. Bleak and hard-hitting – I loved it.
What is the hardest thing about being a writer?
Having the perseverance to keep going from starting the first draft to checking the final proof.
Name a fictional character you consider a friend.
Did getting published change your perception of writing?
Yes, I realised all the work that goes into getting a novel onto the bookshelves. It’s fascinating to work with all the teams involved in the publishing process, especially the editors, copyeditors, cover designers and marketing team.
Who inspires you and why?
There’s no person in particular. I’m mainly inspired by great storytelling in any form. When I read a great book, see a powerful play, watch a funny film, I feel inspired to try to write the best I can.
Which book deserves more readers?
‘Stuart: A Life Backwards’ by Alexander Masters.
Do you have any friends that are writers? If so, do you show each other early drafts?
I have lots of lovely writer friends, but we don’t tend to show each other early drafts. I find it confusing to have too many voices commenting on my WIP. I just like to get on with my drafts and trust in my agent and/or editor to give me feedback.
Who or what are you most excited to see at Newark Book Festival in July?
There are so many quality events but I’m particularly excited to see Joanna Cannon and Joanne Harris.