Tell us about your latest creation:
The Girl on the Train is psychological thriller which examines the fine line between normality and the loss of control wrought by addiction. It’s all about how when you peel back the veneer of everyday life, you can find something really quite disturbing just underneath…
Where are you from / where do you call home?:
I was born and brought up in Zimbabwe, but have lived in London since 1989.
When you were a kid, what did you want to become? An author?:
I loved creative writing as a child, and I have always dreamed about writing a book, but my first career choice was journalism.
What do you consider to be your best work? Why?:
This one! This is the first novel I have written under my own name, and it’s the one I’ve been wanting to write.
Describe your writing environment to us – your writing room, desk, etc.; is it ordered or chaotic?:
I have a little office downstairs in my house. It’s crowded and chaotic: filled with books, papers, random junk and a treadmill…
When you’re not writing, who/what do you like to read?:
Kate Atkinson is my favourite author – her latest, A God in Ruins, is out this year and it is simply outstanding. I read a lot of psychological thrillers written by women – people like Harriet Lane, Louise Doughty, Cara Hoffman, Gillian Flynn and Tana French. I also love Donna Tartt, Cormac McCarthy and Sebastian Barry.
What was the defining book(s) of your childhood/schooling?:
Wuthering Heights and L’Etranger.
If you were a literary character, who would you be?:
I’d quite like to be Ursula Todd in Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life, a woman who gets to live her life over and over, trying to get it right
Apart from books, what do you do in your spare time (surprise us!)?:
I like watching football. Not sure if that’s surprising or not…
What is your favourite food and favourite drink?:
A really good rare steak and a very dry white wine.
Who is your hero? Why?:
I don’t think I have a hero. I have huge respect for people who devote themselves to serious and difficult work – medical professionals, for example – who get so little thanks from governments.
Crystal ball time – what is the biggest challenge for the future of books and reading?:
I think encouraging anyone to spend time reading books in an age of ever decreasing attention spans is going to become more and more difficult.
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