At what age did you know you wanted to become a writer?

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t want to write

Was your first book published or is it still lurking in a drawer somewhere?

I have a green notebook full of my early poetry. No one’s seen that since I turned fifteen. 

What was your favourite childhood book?

The Tale of Mr Tootleoo by Bernard and Elinor Darwin

What is your ‘if you don’t like this, you can’t be my friend’ book?

That’s not the way I think

Do you find the process of writing agony or pure pleasure?

Alloyed pleasure

Who, in your opinion is the most under-read author?

T.F. Powys

Who or what have been your most important influences?

My mother who got me reading. My daughters who tell me what to read now. 

If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?  

An estate agent – I love poking around other people’s houses.

Is being a literary prize judge exhausting or exhilarating? Or neither?

It’s not exactly work. Prize-panels are the best book-groups in town.

Favourite film? 

Morgan – a Suitable Case for Treatment

Favourite Album

Gluck’s Orfeo

Favourite Artist