Is any of Treasure This true?
Don’t be ridiculous. I made it up. That’s what you do with stories.
Okay, one bit of it is true. I had a lovely aunt who was sweet and kind and a joy to be with. She used to sing to herself all through the day and would sing for anyone who visited. She sang Ave Maria at my wedding and I felt like royalty. She was 96 when she died and it broke my heard. I loved her dearly. Still do.
But one day, back when we still had the joy of her being in the world, one day I thought what if … someone that lovely had a really dodgy past? Would that change how I felt about her? What if it was really bad – what if she’d killed someone. What if, what if, what if … and Addy came walking down the stairs in her black jeans and purple T-shirt, out into the garden on a blustery April day and saw feet sticking out that shed door …
So, thank you, Aunt Betty, for being the inspiration for my thriller. I wish I’d told her. I think she’d have had a good laugh about it.
Do you have any other adventures planned for Addy?
Not at the moment. Of course, if you’re thinking of murdering someone, I may have to send her round.
Are you disciplined about writing?
Can you hear me laughing from there?
Honestly? I try. I’m an owl. I wish I were a lark, up at five, writing away, creating thousands of words of perfect prose by breakfast. But that’s not me. I dither about and perk up about four in the afternoon. But once I get going, barring interruptions from aggravating spouses asking if I want dinner/coffee/chips, and dogs begging to go out for a walk, I can work on till five next morning, if need be. Though I don’t recommend it because it makes you very bad tempered and is bad for your skin.
Ideally, I love working between four and midnight. But life is full of interruptions.
What do you love most about writing?
All of it.
What do you hate most?
Why do you write?
I sometimes wonder. It’s hard work, eats up most of my time and isn’t going to make me a millionaire. But I love it when it all comes together and I know I’ve created something worthwhile. So I guess the answer must be that it makes me feel good. It’s who I am.
Which writers do you like?
Hundreds. Here are just some, and I’m adding to them all the time: Michelle Paver, David Almond, Hilary Mantel, Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman, Cormac McCarthy, Raymond Chandler, Geraldine McCaughrean, Liam Hearn, Ursula K Le Guin, Stephen Donaldson, Henrietta Brandford, Elmore Leonard, Jack London, Julia Donaldson, Patrick Ness, Joe Abercrombie, Khalil Gibran, Machiavelli, Dorothy Parker, Jane Austen, Allan Ahlberg, Margaret Atwood, Eoin Colfer …