I write because I need to write. It's as simple as that. I write for the same reason why other people paint pictures, run marathons or climb mountains.
When I was eight years old, I wrote a play (I cringe when I think of it: I'll only say that witches came into it) that was staged at my junior school. That was when I got hooked. I loved English at school; the fact that I went on to study French instead had simply to do with the different quality of the teachers.
I am not one of those wonderfully disciplined writers who switch on their computer at eight every morning and write till lunch-time. When I'm out walking my dog or even lying in bed, I get an idea and I work on it in my head. I only write it down when I have a fair idea what I'm going to key in. Then the characters tend to take over, and the story may follow a certain twist because it simply wouldn't be right for them to act otherwise.
People ask me how much of my book is autobiographical. Let me say that I did not go through any of the trauma that Holly went through (Thank heavens!) but I store up pictures in my head which I draw on whenever I need to describe a place or create an atmosphere. I take care never to write about anyone I know: I don't want to lose any friends or make any enemies.
A common question from readers is: "Where do you get your ideas from?" The best answer to that comes from Sue Townsend, the author of the Adrian Mole books. She says: "I generally just go to the ideas counter at Tescos!"
You can buy my book at most bookshops, at amazon.co.uk, amazon.com or amazon.de as well as at bookdepository.com in hardback, paperback or Kindle version.