Border Lakeland terriers. We had one called Barney when I was younger. He was FABULOUS.
I'd say to wood pigeons, 'Why do you ALL sing the same song?'The Great British Bake-off. I seriously love it. I tried to make Mary Berry's Treacle Lattice Tart a couple of weeks ago. Weaving pastry is more tricky than you might think.The Cure.Coffee.Any bookshop. I do a special extra-slow super-contemplative walk whenever I get inside one, so I can take in as many books as possible.Coffee. In fact, I'm off to make one right now. Mmm.I'm more of a chocolate fiend, really. Nothing less than 70% cocoa solids will do.Cornflakes. Always.It's a Wonderful Life. It's the best film EVER. Watch out for it over Christmas – it's seriously ace.What's your favourite word?Dodecahedron.What's your favourite book?JANE EYRE by Charlotte Brontë. I love it so much, I wrote my own version – Jane Airhead – in homage.What's your favourite accent?I'm a great fan of all accents, probably because I've lived all over the place (Barrow-in-Furness, Carlisle, Brighton, Ireland, the New Forest) and love the differences between them all. Particular favourites are Geordie, Midlands, Cork, Russian and French.No. It was for way longer than a month. I had my hair cut short aged about 11, then looked like a boy until I'd managed to grow it back again five years later. I really should have stayed indoors for most of my teens, in retrospect.Have you ever been bitten by an animal?Nibbled by an overenthusiastic dog, maybe. But never bitten.No. I'd be worried they thought I was a total pillock. And if they do think that, I'd rather not know about it.What's the worst thing you ever ate?School dinners, 1978.What's something you wish you were brave enough to do?Bungee jump. It's not the falling-down bit that scares me. It's the bouncing back up again. Urgh.What's the most boring sport to watch on TV?I used to think it was grand prix, but my husband loves motor racing, so I'd be writing off a lot of Sunday afternoons if I thought it was boring. If you can't beat them, join them. I also used to think that cricket was dull, but now I think the maths side of it is fab. So, it would have to be darts, I suppose.If you could go on a shopping spree at any store, which store would you choose?Harvey Nichols. See you in six hours.If someone wrote a book about your life, what would the title be?The Faffer.Do you believe in unicorns?I wrote a book about them once, so yes, of course.If you ever got to meet a unicorn, what would you ask it?Does that horn get in the way?If you could design your own cupcake, what would it be?Coffee sponge, with a melting chocolate centre and cappuccino icing.What's the biggest mistake you've ever made?Not learning to swim the crawl properly.Did you ever do something that you didn't get busted for?No, I always get busted.Have the power to turn invisible but only for ten seconds at a time or have the power to fly but only a metre off the ground?I'd go for the invisibility cloak, every time.Spend the whole night in a haunted house or spend the whole night in a room full of spiders?Haunted house. (I don't like spiders.)Eat ten spiders or wear green for the rest of your life?Wear green. (I still don't like spiders.)Be the main actor in a really bad movie or have a small part in a really good movie?Small part in a really good movie, definitely. What's the point in being mediocre?Have all of the world's music for free or have all the world's video games for free?Music. I have not the slightest interest in video games.When and why did you being writing?I started writing properly when I went freelance in 2000. I was mostly editing, but when I was asked to write a book, I jumped at the chance because I've ALWAYS wanted to be an author. It was a non-fiction book about Florence Nightingale. I've now written all sorts of books.How long have you wanted to be a writer?Since I read my very first Ladybird book.Did you ever feel like giving up?Sometimes, yes. But I don't.Can you give us a title or first line that we can turn into a story?I was blue, so blue. I knew that I should never have let my sister loose with the face paints.How much do you write in one week?It depends what I'm writing and how near the deadline is.Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?Writing the next sentence when I'm well and truly stuck. I now realise it's best to go and do something completely different until inspiration strikes. Staring at a blank screen doesn't help AT ALL.Did you learn anything from your last book?I learnt why people don't fall out of roller coasters when they loop-the-loop.What was your inspiration for your latest book?My husband. He appears in most of my books, in some shape or form. So far, he's been a mountain biker, a science geek and an ice skater. He is two of these in true life.When did you first consider yourself a writer?When Jane Airhead was published. It was my first novel and I'm still very proud of it.What inspired you to write your latest book?I write a lot of non-fiction, but I really wanted to have a go at another novel. So I did.What made you give your latest book its title?It just popped into my head, I'm afraid. But I can't tell you what it is, because it hasn't been published yet...Do you have any advice for any budding writers?Do LOTS of writing. All sorts of writing. Then you can work out what sort you like best, whether it's scary, funny, serious, lyrical or whatever. You won't know until you try.Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?Aren't books just the best thing EVER?