At the moment, I'm toying with a new idea for a book, but fully engaged with writing screenplays, so the book idea - which needs empty space in my head - is barely formed yet.
I have likened writing a novel to going on a journey, with some notion of the destination I will arrive at, but not the whole picture - which emerges gradually as a series of revelations, as the journey goes along.
I'm always amazed by writers who tell me they plan everything at the beginning. I feel their writing days must be very bland.
Perhaps, all writers walk such a line. In general - as we all do in our dreams - I believe I put something of myself into all the characters in my novels, male as well as female.
When you've finished a piece of work you've had a kind of love affair with it.