I was encouraged to be imaginative and read, and it was a great childhood for a budding writer because I had the time and the freedom to go into a world of my own.
My story is the story of many postwar British families. Upward mobility. A council house and then new affluence.
I wouldn't mind being a fly on the wall in a few Victorian parlours.
I've ended up feeling fonder of 'The Paying Guests' than of any of my other novels.
I like dramas because there's a big overlap between film and fiction, so I feel relatively qualified to talk about plot and characterisation and that sort of thing.
Ours is a world which feels so unsettled and dangerous in large ways, whether it's terrorism or global financial meltdown or climate change - huge things that affect us deeply, and yet things about which we can do, individually, very little.
The early '20s were like the waist of an hourglass. Lots of things were hurtling toward it and squeezing through it and then hurtling out the other side.
The relationship you have with your mother is like nothing else. They do kind of know everything about you, even though they don't confront it. That is often a dynamic from childhood onwards. As a teenager, you want to be independent and do slightly furtive things.
I was mad about the theatre growing up, really mad. We had a local theatre, the Torch, and I used to usher there. I would see the shows over and over again.
All I can do is write about whatever grabs me.
I do love the past but wouldn't want to live in it.
I knew I'd always be a second-rate academic, and I thought, 'Well, I'd rather be a second-rate novelist or even a third-rate one'.
I love film and, particularly, shorts. You don't get to see them often, and they're a great little form, like a short story.
I never expected my books to do even as well as they have. I still feel grateful for it, every single day.
I used to hate flying. I would sit there, rigid, convinced that if I relaxed, the plane would drop out of the sky.
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