1. Most relatable character?If we’re talking about my books I’d have to say Jinx Slater – although she’s obviously a lot younger than me! Otherwise I think I most resemble the Scarlet Pimpernel (‘we seek him here, we seek him there’ – I do like my holidays), the Count of Monte Cristo or George from the Famous Five.
2. What adjectives would you use to describe Crushworthy? Brilliant, naturally. Just kidding. I hope it’s funny, honest and unputdownable!
3. Inspiration? I spent 5 years boarding at Roedean School for girls in Brighton. That was my inspiration for the Jinx books although Enid Blyton’s Malory Towers series made me desperate to go to boarding school in the first place. Because I loved her books so much I decided to write a 21st Century version – I hope I’ve done her justice.
4. Place to write? I can write anywhere, but my favorite thing to do is take myself off for a couple of months to get started on a new book. Last year I spent three months living two minutes away from Bondi Beach in Sydney. I wrote on my terrace overlooking the beach every morning and spent the afternoons learning to surf. (Or rather – TRYING to learn to surf.) Next year I want to go to India.
5. Desert Island book? Stella Gibbons’ Cold Comfort Farm. The whole thing is hilarious, but I especially love the names of the cows: Aimless, Feckless, Pointless and Graceless. Am I allowed two? If so I’d also take Lunar Park by Bret Easton Ellis – it’s perfection in novel form and I adore it.
6. Pets? I’ve got four dogs and I love them all. I’ve got a boxer, a chocolate labrador and two yorkshire terriers: Flash, Missy, Trojan and Bella. Flash is my baby – leaving them is the only bad thing about going away. I’d so want them to keep me company on that desert island. I’ve also got two cats, but I just don’t feel the same way about them.
7. Favourite bookstore? I love Foyles bookshop at 113-119 Charing Cross Road in London. It was once listed in the Guiness Book of Records as the world’s largest bookshop in terms of shelf area and number of titles on display. It opened in 1903 and is still going strong – I love walking through the huge doors and spending lost afternoons browsing all over the place. There’s a real sense of history and I don’t think I’ve ever walked past without going in.
8. Most embarrassing moment? I went to Glastonbury in 2004 with my best friends. We had quite a few beers in the afternoon before going to see Oasis playing on the main stage. I tried to go to the loo beforehand but the queue was so big my friends insisted we go and get a good place right in front of the stage. Halfway through their set I wet myself. Nice!
9. Smartest thing I ever did? I graduated at the top of my class in my MA in American Literature. I’d worked so hard all year I was really pleased with that result. The second smartest thing I ever did was dumping a particularly toxic boyfriend – he was awful.
10. Life motto? If you want it badly enough you’ll put the work in and you’ll get it.
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