What was the first thing you ever wrote?
‘All About Sheep’, an Aesop’s fables-esque series of short stories explaining every feature on my stuffed ram (circa age 5).
What’s your favourite thing about Nottingham?
You run into people you know all the time—there’s a real community, which is lacking in some bigger cities. Also a great Cuban salsa scene.
What writers inspire you the most and why?
Jon McGregor for his delicate prose, Philip Pullman for his allegorical aspirations, Patrick Rothfuss for just fantastic imagination, Ali Smith for pushing the boundaries (even if I don’t particularly like the outcome), Margaret Atwood for sheer volume and consistency, JK Rowling for keeping the entire world enraptured, Malorie Blackman for engaging with big issues in YA fiction, John Steinbeck for his ability to be concise; honourable mentions to Jennifer Donnelly, Tracy Chevalier, Jerry Spinelli and Terry Pratchett.
What are you working on at the moment?
In between novels—struggling to fully let go of the last one (reasonably dark women’s literary fiction) and musing over another one I’ve yet to start (a potential comedy).
Why did you decide to join Nottingham Writers’ Studio’s board?
I think community hubs like this are a fantastic resource for the city, and I’d love to be able to help steer it to new heights if I can.
If you could have written any book that’s already published, what would it be and why?
The Princess Bride—if I’d come up with such a fantastic, innovative, mind-bending, fabulously-executed form of narrative (an abridged translation of an “existing” book—genius!) I would be very impressed with myself indeed.