What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A good book and a glass of wine, sitting by the pool in warm sun.
When did you last cry and why?
When my mother died.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Which living person do you most admire?
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
What’s the worst job you’ve done?
A postman, as I had to get up far too early!
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
After my children, my books.
Where is your favourite historical place?
Hampton Court Palace
What is your greatest extravagance?
Fine wine and fast cars.
Which book changed your life?
The Thirty Nine Steps made me realise I loved thrillers and would like to write them one day.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Come on!” shouted to my 10 year old son twenty times a morning as I try and get him into the car for school.
What are your pet hates?
People talking and eating food loudly in the cinema; BBC Question Time; velvet (can’t stand the texture); courgettes; blancmange; rap music.
What would your superpower be?
Who would play you in a film of your life?
A young (or younger) Anthony Hopkins.
If you could go back in time, where would you go?
Ancient Rome and World War 2 London.
What is your most embarrassing moment?
Too many to mention; forgetting people’s names is one voluminous category.
What is your most treasured possession?
A French music box in the shape of a car which my mother and grandparents gave to me when I was a toddler; it plays ‘C’est à Capri’.
Van Morrison, Philip Glass, Thelonious Monk, Brian Eno, Cesaria Evora, Mozart, Beethoven, Sufjan Stevens, Wolf Alice, Anne-Marie.
What is your motto?
Churchill’s motto ‘KBO’ i.e. ‘Keep buggering on!’
What was the last book you read?
Somerset Maugham’s Far Eastern Tales.
Who is your favourite fictional character?
What is top of your bucket list?
To have my books filmed.
Tell us something not many people know about you.
I write the first draft of my books in longhand.