I said: 'I'm throwing in my job, and I'm going to write a book.' Everyone thought: 'She's off her trolley,' and it was quite crazy, really. I'm just lucky that it came off.
There are so many ways to do research - even watching old Ealing comedies, watching people getting on and off buses in London, looking at household interiors.
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.
We're all so digital, but the '50s was the era of watches you had to wind. When Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reached the summit of Everest in 1953, Hillary was equipped with a Rolex Oyster Perpetual.