Originally a Lancashire girl, like myself, Trisha now resides in north Wales with her neurotic Border Collie (called 'Dog') and, as she describes it, a very chancy Muse.
I’m delighted to be here, Tara – thank you so much for inviting me.
Trisha, as you probably know, I do like to start the interviews off with a really easy question - so here is yours.
1. In 1985, which entertainer made the first ever mobile phone call in Britain?
No idea. In 1985 there was a lot going on in my life: I had a two-year-old son, I’d just moved up to an old cottage on a hilltop in West Yorkshire, I’d had my first novel published the year before in a light historical genre I wasn’t committed to, but also had been shortlisted for a major award for an unpublished novel with one of the satirical novels I loved to write, giving me a bit of a dilemma about what to write next. My husband was away a lot and I was attempting to learn to drive. I rarely looked at the TV and mobile phones didn’t even impinge on my consciousness for quite some time. The eighties went by in a blur.
Oh dear - I even gave you a clue that it was a man, Trisha. It's plainly obvious that you were far too busy in the eighties, so here is a picture gallery of some of the things that you may have missed.
I get asked about sequels to my books a lot, but I’ve always said that I’m not writing a direct sequel to any of them until one gets made into a film! Actually, I think Every Woman for Herself should be first: loads of character parts, wonderful scenery, the Bronte elements…
Your wish is my command...
"We interrupt this interview to bring you a news bulletin..."
"And now, back to the interview..."
3. Which one of your books did you have the most fun writing and why?
I clicked the 'Tell the publisher! I'd like to read this book on kindle' button, on Amazon. I'm hoping everyone else will too.
4. If you could spend a fabulous, fun day at one of the world’s biggest literary festivals, with any three authors (past or present), who would they be and why?
Tricky, since all my friends are authors and I love to spend time in their company! Instead, I think I’ll choose two past authors and one present author that I don’t personally know.
I'm guessing that she would keep you up all night, Trisha. I imagine that she would have a lot to say about that.
Then I’d like the late Elizabeth Peters, who also wrote as Barbara Michaels. I’m sure she would be sharp, clever and funny. And finally, Stephen King, someone else with a lively mind and interesting experiences who likes to talk writing: I think the conversation between the four of us in the tea tent would be amazing.
Oh my, I would quite like to be a fly on the wall... only a fly on the wall though, as I think the sharp-talking, witty exchange would be way beyond my intellect.
I like to bake cakes, though really it’s icing them I enjoy best (if you click on my novel Wedding Tiers on the book page of my website, it should take you to a picture of the Elizabethan Pomander cake I made). I enjoy gardening and painting in oils, visiting historic houses, walking on the beach with my dog, having coffee and cake with my local novelist friends, the Novelistas. I have lots of interests.
Ooh, I've suddenly gained an interest in icing cakes too, Trisha.
I am a lark and like to rise early and write. For very many years I have been part of the 500 Club with authors Elizabeth Gill andLeah Fleming. We called it that because we made a pact to email each other every day as soon as we’d written at least five hundred words, or done a significant amount of other work, like research for a new book. We’ve all travelled on the same rollercoaster through years of being traditionally published and have supported each other through the ups and downs. And here we all still are today: well published and working away on new novels.
Gardening every time.
Me too - here's a little gardening montage for you, Trisha. It may even give you some new ideas...
I’ve had an endless procession of low-paid part time jobs over the years to support my writing, many of them fairly weird. At one point I found myself in an insurance office roughly converted from an outhouse on a farm down a rough track.
Ooh - yes, I've seen it, Trisha. It looks pretty run-down.
Hmm... I think your boss is still up to his old tricks and probably some new ones too, Trisha. You wouldn't believe what he can do with those paper-balls now...
I have professional qualifications in architectural glass.
Oh my, so you really are a woman of many talents, what with the baking and of course, the writing. Here are a couple of piccies of beautifully designed architectural glass.
Noisy eaters. People eating with their mouths open, or talking through mouthfuls of food…ugh.
Oops, I'm sorry Trisha but I really think that you should see this - it may even change your mind... or at least give you a giggle.
My idea of hell would be a beach holiday: I never sit in the sun and much prefer to be doing something. The best holiday I ever had was spent driving across Canada – wonderful scenery, lots to go and see, lovely people, wildlife, bookshops in even the smallest town…perfect.
Hmm... see what you mean about the scenery, Trisha.
12. If it is zero degrees outside today and it is supposed to be twice as cold tomorrow, how cold will it be?
Cold enough for mammoths to start roaming again, so I could finally start the Palaeo diet. (Some smart-ass will probably now take pleasure in informing me that mammoths weren’t around in Palaeolithic times, in which case I claim artistic licence.)
You are right, Trisha, mammoths were indeed, around during that time period. Good luck with your Paleolithic diet, it is claimed that you may enjoy a longer, healthier, more active life by following it.
I'd much prefer a mammoth burger myself!
I hope that you have learnt from this today, Trisha.
Now, now, Trisha - remember it is the season of goodwill.
Thank you so much, Tara – and although it’s still a little early, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas. xx
And a very Happy Christmas to you too, Trisha.