1) I’m not as creepy as you might think! I’ve read lots of psychological thrillers (and have a thing for Edgar Allen Poe and Stephen King), but also enjoy the romantic side of fiction, such as ‘Me Before You’ and ‘Little Women’. And I love all things Disney!
2) I taught English at Jilly Cooper’s old school. Godolphin School was a wonderful place to work, with colleagues who supported my writing and amazingly enthusiastic students. There I enjoyed teaching the girls inspirational classics like ‘The Secret Garden’, ‘Macbeth’ and ‘The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde’.
3) I’m terrified of spiders. Even the word makes my skin crawl. If you read ‘Mother Loves Me’, you’ll meet Deadly and understand what I mean.
4) My favourite number is 13. I was born on Friday 13th, so that’s part of it, but something spooky happens to me where almost every day the number 13 comes up. It’s weird, but I love it. Seats in theatres, tables in restaurants, lockers, hotel rooms. Perhaps that why my main character, Mirabelle, is 13!
5) I’d love to dance on Strictly. In my twenties, I was successful in Modern Jive competitions, and took lessons with Flavia Cacace and Vincent Simone. Dancing makes me feel so alive.
6) ‘Room’ by Emma Donaghue inspired me. As soon as I read ‘Room’, I knew I wanted to create a similar level of intensity and tell the story from a child’s point of view.
7) Dogs, glorious dogs! I grew up with dogs and find it hard to imagine living without them. My parents had four, but two is just right for me. I adore our gorgeous cockers, Tilly and Bilbo, so don’t worry, I’d never kill off a dog in one of my books.
8) Darkness entered my life in my twenties. As a naïve twenty-four-year-old, I rushed into a marriage that became toxic. I think this is why themes of control and emotional abuse permeate ‘Mother Loves Me’. Fortunately, my family were incredibly supportive throughout that awful time, and I’m now happily married and have a little girl who is my world.
9) I have Synesthesia. What this means is that I see letters in colour! The letter ‘e’ for example, is always green. I love having Synesthesia, because it feels like a superpower. To my students’ unending amusement, I once muddled up my words and told them I had photosynthesis.
10) I write because I want to immerse readers in another world. Absorption in a story is a pleasure like no other. When I read, I want to be sucked in and made to feel, so that is what I aim for when I write. If my reader is glued to the page when they read my books, I’ll be delighted. Indeed, I would love you to contact me via social media to tell me what you think of ‘Mother Loves Me’!