laptop, coffee, sunglasses

“You have to persevere”

On working days, I get up at about 7.30am, make a cup of tea and watch the headlines on Sky before jumping in the shower. Then I make the first cup of coffee of the day. Only then am I ready to work. 

I try to be at my desk for 8.30am, but sometimes it stretches to 9am. I write at a desk in an upstairs spare bedroom that has been converted into an office. I look out onto a view of trees and other people’s gardens. It’s a nice space to work and I love it.

My handwriting is terrible, so a keyboard is essential; I write everything on an iMac. My other essentials are more coffee and water.

I aim to write 2,000 words a day. It takes it out of me sometimes but you have to persevere. The actual writing of a book takes between four and eight months, depending on how well the plot flows on the page. I’ve been known to abandon a draft halfway through and simply start again, though thankfully I haven’t done that for a couple of books now.

If I'm struggling, I just keep on writing regardless – I can’t afford to wait for inspiration. Eventually, if you keep going long enough, it’ll come.

Ways to unwind

Mid-morning, after I've done about two to two-and-a-half hours’ writing, I take a break. It may not sound like a lot of time spent writing but it is mentally, so I usually head to the gym to unwind. 

After the gym I take another shower and then it's time for lunch, one of my favourite times of the day. I don't eat breakfast so I have a mammoth meal now, which I eat while reading the papers, usually The Times, from cover to cover. 

About 2.30pm I go back to work. I usually finish between 4.30pm-5pm, but if I’m behind it can stretch as long as 8pm. When I'm done, I go for a decent walk. I’m lucky enough to live in a little village surrounded by countryside, so I’ll tend to walk for a good hour, even in winter, and longer in summer. 

Afterwards I'll pop to the pub for a drink or cook dinner for myself and watch TV. I tend to watch a lot of drama – anything from re-runs of Miss Marple to Breaking Bad and Homeland – and comedy. I’m a huge fan of Curb Your Enthusiasm and Seinfeld, and if there’s nothing on the box, I’ll usually stick in a DVD of one of them, and laugh uproariously on my own for the next couple of hours!

Other nights I spend with my fiancée, just chatting and chilling out. On weekdays it's lights out at 11.30pm; half midnight at the weekend. I’m not a party animal these days.

Read more

We use cookies on this site to enable certain parts of the site to function and to collect information about your use of the site so that we can improve our visitors’ experience.

For more on our cookies and changing your settings click here

Strictly Necessary


Preferences & Features

Targeting / Advertising