Scottish writers are particularly successful in the crime genre.
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.
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.
People were consuming on average less calories after the war than during the war. Things were still very tough. If you look at the film footage of London streets, even in areas which weren't slums, there are kids in the streets who are dirty and have no shoes on. It was rough. There was a real edge.