1. When you were ten, what did you want to be when you grew up?
So many things. I started writing when I was 9 – so of course I wanted to be a writer. But a vet, that was in there, TV Cameraman too… not a hundred miles away from current interests I guess…

2. Do you become emotionally attached to the characters you write about?
Yes, usually. It’s hard to say goodbye when the story ends, but even so they stay with me… Like in Blood & Fire I needed a couple of characters for some Helen v. conservation holiday backstory and who should come waltzing in through my imagination but Hannah and Alice from The Mill – and then no sooner have they made themselves at home but I go and meet Hannah and Alice in Estonia!!

3. Name a book that you feel everyone should read at least once, and why.
Fire & Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones. It’s a childrens’ book, but you can read it time and time again at different ages and get something knew from it every time. It’s a book that inspires me to write. That and Swallows and Amazons are probably my all time favourites…

4. Do you have a quirk? Tell us about it!
Apart from the Serial Dreaming ability that I have…?? I guess my quirk would be the funny hand movements that I do to accompany my conversations but which bear absolutely no relation to the words that I’m speaking. The kangaroo finger jumping was always a big *favourite* with my friends at work (as they never failed to point out!).

5. What’s your drinking limit?
That’s easy. I’m epileptic so I have to watch what I drink as alcohol counteracts the effect of my medication. If I go out for evening I can usually have a couple of pints of something, but I’m usually driving so I’m on the orange juice or lemonade or some non-alcoholic cocktails. Although, whilst in Estonia I’ve probably drunk the most I’ve ever drunk – maybe a couple of cans of Saku (local beer) every night and some tasters of Estonian wine and the Vana Tallinn…


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