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I grew up by the sea and still swim as often as I can in summer. I lived in London for seventeen years and never stopped missing it. Now I'm back living near the coast part-time, I try and go to the beach most days. It's always different. I love it at low tide best, when there's miles of sand and rockpools and a sense of infinite space. It makes me want to run. Usually, though, I just sit on a breakwater with tea and a bun.
I'm addicted to crisps. It's a lifelong affliction. If you told me I could never eat chocolate again, that wouldn't be a major problem. But no more Walkers Cheese 'n Onion, Black Pepper Kettle Chips or Cheesey Wotsits? I'd be devastated.
I'm the best version of myself when I'm travelling. I've been incredibly fortunate in being a travel writer for the last fifteen years, and I've travelled widely on my own. It's scary, challenging and hugely rewarding. In my experience charm and a big smile go a long way, whether you're lost, you've locked the hire car keys in the boot, or watched the bus drive off with your luggage in the back. People's willingness to help has always been one of the loveliest things about travelling solo.
I can't bake. Every cake I've ever made comes out like a biscuit.
I always cast my novels as if they were films. There's a Croatian actor, Goran Visnjic, who I always thought of as Goran, in The People We Were Before. It took so long for the book to be published, though, that he'd now have to be Goran's father. And Novak Djokovic is a perfect fit for Pavle. I've cast James Norton (from Grantchester) as the lead in my next novel. It helps me visualise the characters and having their pictures on my study wall isn't the greatest hardship.
I think friendship is one of life's greatest gifts. I have the most amazing group of friends, who have supported me through the long years of trying to get published. I genuinely don't think I would have kept going without them. Going through life with a group of people you've known since school and uni is a really precious thing; we've been through marriages, divorces, births and bereavements together. It means you never feel alone.
I'm ridiculously squeamish. I can't watch horror movies, or anything graphic. Images just stay in my mind. If I'd ever seen the Blair Witch Project, I know I could never go camping again.
I love heels. They make me a bit of a giraffe, as I'm 5ft 8 in my bare feet, but they give me better posture and make me feel just a bit more glam. I always have a pair of flatties in my handbag though. I spend my life swapping shoes in cloakrooms and toilets and even tube platforms. In summer, the sensation of going from stilettos to flip-flops is a great way to end a night.
I rely on humour in almost all situations. I'm a bit like Chandler in Friends; I think humour helps to diffuse awkward moments, soften difficult times and just makes everything better. No-one laughs enough in adult life. It's the best medicine.
If I could live outside I would. I'm never in my house when it gets warmer. Breakfast, lunch and dinner in the garden, and I've invested in a couple of firepits so that we can stay outside right through the evening. I genuinely think the world would be a happier place if people spent more time outdoors.
Source : http://www.femalefirst.co.uk/books/the-people-we-were-before-annabelle-thorpe-1037332.html