What inspired you to become an author?
I liked reading, and of course Dad was always banging away at his typewriter at home. At school I wrote short stories that pleased. So I just assumed that I could do it. It was a shock to find that writing novels was a lot harder than it looked.
Which authors have influenced you most?
I loved the CS Forrester novels and, of course, Tolkien. But I also liked TH White (The Once and Future King), Rudyard Kipling, Ingalls Wilder, Goodge (The Little White Horse), Buchan, MR James and Violet Needham. Oh, and Ursula Le Guin, especially her novel The Dispossessed.
Do you base your characters on real people?
No. Sometimes I will borrow a face, or some quality in someone I know, as a starting point. If you are going to say that a character "has steel in them" then it helps to think of someone you know who is pretty steely. But what really determines the character is the role I want them to play.