Author Q & A

Where is your favourite place to write?
Cafes! I can’t really draft at home. Besides the fact that my bed and a pile of books is calling to me, there’s the distraction of the internet and no one to make me coffee and almond croissants.

What are you currently reading?
THE CROWN’S GAME by Evelyn Skye.

Your favourite book from childhood?
ELLA ENCHANTED by Gail Carson Levine. I had it on cassette tape and I wore that thing out! I actually never read it myself until I was in my 20’s.

Which book do you wish you’d written?
Maybe Ally Carter’s HEIST SOCIETY? It’s about a Heist, which I love, of Art, which I studied and worked in for 5 1/2 years, while running around Europe which I pretty much did from the age of 3 to 18. And it’s just a damn stylish book that makes me jealous of how effortlessly she writes. But I’m also glad I didn’t write it because if I had, it wouldn’t have existed to induct me into the world of YA after I graduated university.

What would your superpower be?
If I could pick…I’d take Teleportation. Hands down! I’m perpetually late for everything because I hate getting there. And I could pop home on the weekends without 6 hours of trains and accidentally setting off the radioactive material detector at St Pancras.

What do you always carry with you?
If I have my wits together when I leave the house: Phone, charger, bank card and a book. In some form, physical or e-book, even if I’m not going to have to time to read it. And if I’m mid-drafting a notebook comes with me.

What’s your top choice for karaoke?
Europe’s The Final Countdown or Bon Jovi Living on a Prayer. Things everyone can shout at the top of their lungs exhuberantly!

With whom would you most like to be stuck for an hour in a lift?
Taylor Swift. I feel like an hour would be long enough to convince her to let me join her squad. It’s all models and actresses and singers in there and I feel I could make a compelling point that she needs another writer in her Squad beyond Lena Dunham.

What are your guilty pleasures?
I don’t feel guilty about anything I enjoy anymore. I mean, listening to Taylor Swift was a guilty pleasure of mine before she was cool and look how well that worked out… (I’ll stop talking about Taylor Swift now).

What’s the worst job you’ve ever done?
I have been lucky with jobs but I did not enjoy waitressing, it’s exhausting. I didn’t do it for very long but I think it’s an intrinsically sucky job everyone should do at some point in their lives.

What keeps you awake at night?
Either worry about the impermanence of the present and the uncertainty of the future or because I’m engrossed in something fictional I can’t stop.

What talent do you most wish you had?
Singing! I can’t sing to save my life but I like to sing along to the radio and I have lost hours of my life marvelling over the amazing singers in American Idol/X-Factor type shows. I’d love to be able to sing.

Tea or coffee?
Coffee. Which I try not to admit to because I’m worried I might get shipped out of the UK if the Queen finds out I don’t like tea.

Chocolate or crisps?
Chocolate. It has more applications than crips? Chocolate cake, chocolate chip cookies, Mint Chocolate ice cream, even sea-salt chocolate which would satisfy any crisp based cravings.

Cinema or theatre?
Both! Am coping out! Things that are meant for the stage on stage, things that only film can do justice to on the big screen!

The Apprentice or Bake-Off?
Bake-Off! 100%. That’s the only show I watched live in all of 2015, apart from maybe one episode of Poldark. I was so skeptical before starting it because I was concerned about being able to look at food that I then could not eat. But I was very quickly proven oh so very wrong by the joys of the Bake Off Tent.

Star Wars or Star Trek?
Star Wars, Star Wars, Star Wars! I Mean I could write an essay here about why Star Wars is fantastic but suffice to say, I first saw Star Wars on VHS in the 90’s and have rewatched since in cinemas, on DVD, at Secret Cinema and has been glorious every time. It’s some of the best storytelling and most compelling characters I’ve ever seen. I mean…I can’t think of any other movie Franchise that I would get on a train to another town just to see it the week it opens in English.