The author's latest book, `A Friend of the Family', is published in paperback by Penguin Books (pounds 6.99)
Do you believe in love at first sight?
Yes. I fell in love with my husband, Jascha, the first time I set eyes on him. It was my first day in a new job. I was taken to be introduced to the IT spods and there he was - that was it. However, I was married to someone else at the time so our first date had to wait for nearly a year.
Shakespeare or Chaucer?
Oh God, I don't do classics. I didn't understand a word of Shakespeare at school. It didn't reach me or move me and I never returned to it. It was contemporary authors - such as George Orwell and Laurie Lee - that struck a chord with me.
If I knew what chick-lit was, I'd do my damnedest to defend it. What I'll say is this: the people who buy chick-lit - which we can take to mean books with pastel-coloured covers with cartoon writing on them - are the sort of people who previously would have bought a copy of Company to take on a train journey. And I'd much rather that they picked up a chick-lit book instead.
Is motherhood …