I realized early on that being an author is a hugely misunderstood job. Because there are no pay grades and very little structure, people make interesting assumptions about the profession.
I wanted to find something I could do at home. I sat down with a friend and made a list of all the things I could try, and one of them was writing a novel.
My family spans many world religions, ethnicities and nationalities. The truth is that I don't have one identity. I'm Scottish, British, European, Humanist, Atheist and in part at least, culturally Jewish.
I have an ambivalent relationship with Margaret Thatcher. She came to power in May 1979 - a month before my 11th birthday. I was far too young to have developed a great deal of political awareness. I remember it, though - my mother excited at the dinner table because Britain had its first female prime minister.