Writers, I’ve found, tend to fall into two camps. The intensely private – ‘bugger off ; seek my essence in my fiction!’ – and the compulsive over-sharers, like me. So it’s with half an eye on word count, and a gimlet eye on ego, that, in this post-modern version of my old-fashioned website, I have resisted the urge to pen several pages of studiously self-effacing prose, as a kind of faux-modest paean to myself.
Instead, I thought a ‘ten things’ approach might be better, till I realised that the number of ten things might be infinite (ten books I’ve loved, ten things that annoy me, ten meditations on abstract expressionism, ten ways with quinoa*, and so on). So, with a great deal of self-restraint, I have reined myself in. My ‘about’ page is just that: ten things.
1. I was once on Blue Peter.
2. I have no truck with homeopathy, racism, the death penalty, writer’s block, tights, or unsolicited sweetcorn. Oh, and with people who ignore those spacing chevrons on motorways because they’re, like, SO good at stopping.
3. Here’s my take (since you ask) on the ‘being a writer’ debate. Authors are born with a compulsion to be authors. Good authors, if they’ve not had it beaten out of them, are made.
4. I think empathy is the best hope for the whole human race.
5. I’ve done a TEDx talk on being a ghostwriter. I weigh a bit less now. The two might not be unconnected.
6. I am a feminist.
7. My favourite saying is ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’. My favourite word is ‘verisimilitude’. My favourite colour is green.
8. When I write my memoirs, I’m going to call them ‘no, you won’t have f***ing heard of me’, because…well, I suspect that might be obvious.
9. I love: jacarandas; peppermint tea; my loved ones, to distraction; snow; glitter; sunrise; semi-colons.
10. I have just finished a novel from the viewpoint of a cat. All roads have led to this. Stoked.
* that one’s for my former students. You know who you are. And now, happily, how to pronounce ‘quinoa’, you lucky people.