As an adult
I was born in Cyprus, where my father was stationed with the RAF, but my entire life seems to have been a journey north – first back to the Lancashire mill towns of my family’s origins, and now on to the very remote borders of England and Scotland. I'm even married to a man called North! Perhaps I shall end up in the Arctic Circle. It is the north, its peoples and places, which is reflected in my writing and is the source of my inspiration. There is something about the rugged beauty of the northern uplands, and the often harsh lives that have been led there, that affects me deeply.
As an artist
I am a slow writer. I often work very late at night when the cottage is silent. Sometimes I feel that I am not making up the story I'm working on but listening, quietly; listening for it to be told to me. When I wrote Martin Farrell, I felt exactly as if I were taking a dictation from a ghost. I still get goose pimples when I read it.