Some people listen to music when they are writing. Not me. I need to surround myself with pictures. I turned my kitchen wall into a mood board when I was working on Twister and this was one of the photos I pinned up. I snapped it not far from my parent’s house. I found the tree quite spooky, which was perfect for one of my characters in the story. It is a sweet chestnut and I have grown quite attached to it now.
When I am stuck, or need to figure something out plot-wise, I take the dog for a walk. I always find time away from the laptop works wonders. I love being outdoors and will often weave what I see in the park into the story. I am so deep in thought, my friends have to flap their hands in front of my face before I notice them. I am quite sure they think I am a sandwich short of a picnic.
This was given to me by an old colleague of mine. We got our very first job together in advertising – she was a copywriter and I was an art director. That was many years ago, when an all-female creative team was unusual in the industry. My friend knows I have got a busy mind, so having this close by when I am writing reminds me to concentrate on the task at hand.
The chair is a symbol of sitting and watching people. Place me in an airport, train station, library or park bench and I am in seventh heaven. Sometimes, in the theatre, I will be looking at the audience instead of the actors. People are a never-ending source of great inspiration and material for me.
Meet my dad. As you can tell from this ancient photo, having a sense of humour was important in our household. I am forever thankful for the stories he used to read out at bedtime. I was captivated by authors such as Laurie Lee, Dylan Thomas and the poetry of Norman MacCaig.