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1. Do you answer all your emails?
I try to. It's just I'm a bit disorganised and get quite a few nowadays, so don't take it personally if I don't get back. Unless you've sent me something nasty, or you're one of those angry Labrador owners who tell me off about The Last Family In England, in which case I'll be ignoring you.

2. How do I get a publishing deal?
You write something only you could write, something you feel has to be written. You put everything you have into it. You put it before all else. You send the first three chapters and a snazzy one or two page synopsis (try and make it read like a back cover) to a relevant, reputable agency. Sound confident but not arrogant in your cover letter, and only give them the info that will help them sell the book. If they want to see more, have it ready. Then you pray.

3. Why are your earlier novels influenced by Shakespeare's plots? Surely the best thing about Shakespeare is the language, not the stories?
If I had to quantify it, I'd say Shakespeare's influence - in terms of plot and theme - only accounts for three per cent of the content of my novels. The other ninety-seven per cent comes solely from the Return of the Jedi.

4. You like bleak endings, don't you?
No. I like honest endings.

5. Is it nice, being paid to write novels?
Yes. It's lovely.

6 . Did you always want to be a novelist?
No. When I was 8 I wanted to be a pop star and made a cassette of songs with my sister, using her synthesiser, and I sent it to Duran Duran's record label. I then phoned the receptionist to ask if it got there, and she very sweetly burst my dream. After that, my ambitions got smaller and smaller, until I had a breakdown/breakthrough in my twenties and became a teetotal neurotic with a handy back-catalogue of embarrassment, disappointment and pain to draw on.

7 . Do you have time to read this extract of my unpublished novel?
Maybe. Maybe not. It's nothing personal, but if I'm in full writing mode, I might not have time. And even if I do have time, and I do like it, you'd really be better off sending it to an agent. Or Stephen King. Or Stephanie Meyer.

8 . Do you own a dog?

9 . Did you ever own a dog?
Yes. A Springer Spaniel called Murdoch. He was there when I needed him during that difficult summer of 1987.

10. Did you ever own tropical fish?
Yes. A full tank of guppies, black mollies, angelfish and those really ugly ones who suck the inside wall of the tank.

11. Were you always into vampires?
No. Except for The Lost Boys era when I tried to look like Kiefer Sutherland but thought I'd bleach my hair by putting a lot of Sun-In on my hair which actually made it yellow and not very vampiric. Liked Nosferatu too but that's because Werner Herzog is a genius. Plus, I was a big Cure fan but they were a bit too shoegazey to be vampires I think.