Yes, this was actually the title of a feature I had to write for Female First. It probably loosely translated for readers as ‘Stuff I could have easily lived without knowing’ or ‘Why would I want to know anything about Kerry Fisher?’ But just in case you’re done with Twitter and there’s nothing on telly…knock yourself out on the most trivial of trivia…
I’m eternally dissatisfied. When I started writing, I just wanted to get published. I imagined that I would flop down in an armchair and think, ‘Phew. I’ve done it!’ Unfortunately, every time I reach a goal, I have about two minutes when I think ‘Brilliant!’ then immediately raise the bar. I was absolutely thrilled to make the Kindle top 10 – way beyond anything I’d hoped for. But now I find myself thinking, ‘Hmm, I’d actually quite like to be number one.’ But I think Grey will have that slot for some time to come…
I’m quite prudish. I find the idea that people I know are reading my sex scenes absolutely excruciating. I wanted to staple ‘those’ pages together when my Mum was reading The Island Escape.
I’ve totally ignored the advice I give my children. I’ve met some people I’ve got to know on Twitter in real life and they’ve become great friends. A bonus by-product of becoming an author has been finding a new tribe to share my fascination for the minutiae of the book world. So nice to hang out with people who don’t suddenly find an urgent need to go to the loo when I say, ‘I’ve got a great idea for a novel.’
I own a naughty Lab/Giant Schnauzer called Poppy. I spend half my life running around the hill near our house, waving chicken and squeaking balls, while she hoovers up picnics and runs amok with kites. We’ve just built a boot room in an effort to contain the vast quantity of mud she shakes all over the kitchen in the winter. The builders think it’s ridiculous that it’s the only room in the house with underfloor heating.
I made a bet with my teenage daughter that I’d dye my hair pink if The Island Escape made the Kindle top 100. I never thought I’d get there so I was enjoying the kudos without thinking I’d ever have to deliver. I rather like it though.
I love the way teenagers feel everything so deeply and sharply. Watching my 15-year-old son and 13-year-old daughter grow up is like seeing life lived with all the jaded layers of experience removed. I’m also fascinated by how embarrassing they find me, especially if I sing to the radio or wear a bikini.
The first thing I map out when I’m planning my characters is what they really want from life. It’s an interesting and potentially dangerous question to ask yourself if you are prepared to dig beyond ‘I want my family to be happy and healthy’.
I love travelling. I was a very restless teenager with a fascination for foreign languages. I did a degree in French and Italian, then lived in Corsica for a year, Spain for two and Tuscany for five. When I came back to the UK, aged 29, I’d missed so much popular culture – TV, music, films – that I felt like an alien. Now I love disappearing off on my own to explore, but nothing beats coming through the arrivals gate at the airport, knowing I’ve got a family to come back to.
I hate shopping and don’t give a hoot what people wear. I never notice unless it’s outrageously awful or absolutely wonderful. When I got married, I bought a grey trouser suit a few weeks before and thought, ‘Well, that will do if I don’t have time to look for anything else.’ My stepmother took me in hand and I ended up with a bright red dress.
One of the best days of my life was seeing my debut novel, The School Gate Survival Guide, come off the presses with my old dad. At the printers, they pressed a button and the whole factory turned into a sea of red covers. He was so proud and I was so touched.