My favourite read is the poet Rupert Brooke. I can't say I have a favourite author really ... I loved Anita Shreve's "All He Ever Wanted", but didn't like others ...
2.Who has had a major influence on your writing?
I was hugely influenced by my lovely old daddy, who died years ago now. He encouraged me to write from a very early age. He was a doctor, extremely wise, and he loved literature.
3.Can you name at least one book that you never finished?
There are lots of books I have not finished reading! If the story doesn't "grab me", and especially if it is badly written, I rapidly fling it to one side.
4.What word or words do you always have trouble spelling?
Yes, I can never spell character. I always want to put charactor! Same with waitor/waiter and trailer/trailor.
5.What three adjectives best describe you?
Three adjectives that describe me: friendly, positive, cheerful.
6.Which of your characters would you most like to be and why?
There is nobody I want to be (other than me) and nobody I want to be like. I'd love to say "Mother Teresa" but it wouldn't be true.
7.Which author would you invite to dinner?
I'd have Lord Byron for dinner. I bet he was really fun to be with.
8.Where do you write?
I write in my office, at home. I often scribble notes while travelling, but my main writing is on my lap top at home.
9.When do you write?
I sit down to write, or to work at the various dimensions of my job as an author, every morning. I have a PA called Charlotte, and she is in the office with me till 12.30 every day, which rather forces me to be there too. In the afternoons I try to do something different, but if I am all fired-up I will carry on in the afternoon. I often do half an hour or so before I go to bed if I have new ideas popping about in my head.
10.What makes you happy?
My lovely husband, children and grandchildren make me happy.
11.What do you most fear?
Like most mothers I fear something dreadful happening to one of my children.
12.What is your favorite vice?
ah-ha! My favourite vice is red wine!
13.What is the quality you most like in yourself?
I am very self-confident - that, along with some humility, is so important if you are to be successful.
14.What are the qualities you most like in your friends?
I have masses of friends and each one has a different quality, but the main thing is being chatty and easy to approach, easy to confide in, easy to listen to.
15.Would you be lying if you said your works were not autobiographical?
My book "A Call From France" is autobiographical. Otherwise no, there is no element of me in any of my other novels.
16.What part of your personality do you detest?
I truly do not think there is anything in my personality I detest! I don't suffer fools gladly I suppose ...
17.What is your favorite adjective?
Gosh, what an interesting question! My favourite adjective is .... hummmmm...... sunny. It is a word that can apply to the weather and to a personality.
18.What is your favorite book?
I have a first edition of Rupert Brooke's verse. My father gave it to me when I was a girl. That is the item I'd grab if the house caught on fire.
19.What book would you read three times?
I have never read a book three times, but if for some reason I were forced to I think it would be "The Thorn Birds".
20.To whom would you award the Nobel Prize for Literature and why?
Emile Zola (if he were alive) would be my nominee for the Nobel Prize for Literature. He wrote at a time when writers (and artists) were starting to really make themselves heard, and he drew attention to the plight of so many.