My favourite Friday treat is to drive out of the centre of Cambridge, where we live, and go for a swim at the health club I've just joined out in the countryside at Quy. It's a lovely pool, inside a converted barn. Usually it's just me and a couple of other swimmers there.
I'm not cut out to lug babies around!
Everything is personal - the poems and the crime novels. I have never been involved in any murders, but there are strong autobiographical elements in each.
I've got lots of favourite authors, but I would say Nicci French because I look more forward to reading her next new book than any other author.
No highbrow literary type would ever say 'Moby Dick' is good but it's just about a whale, or a Jane Austen would be important if she wasn't just writing about romantic relationships.
I am trying to write novels for properly clever people, but I also want them to be proper novels that also stick in a person's mind and have an atmosphere about them.
What surprised me most while writing 'The Monogram Murders' was that everything I needed seemed to arrive in my head exactly when I needed it.
For me, a big part of writing psychological thrillers is choosing crimes committed for motives which would only apply to a particular person in a particular situation; a unique, one-off motive that is born out of someone's particular range of psychological afflictions.
When my children were very young, I was slated to go on a business trip. When it was nearly canceled, I decided I wouldn't tell anyone and go off for a week's vacation anyway. In the end, the trip went off as planned. But I was intrigued by the idea of an illicit holiday.
Most crime fiction plots are not ambitious enough for me. I want something really labyrinthine with clues and puzzles that will reward careful attention.
When I set out to write crime fiction, I didn't think to myself, 'I'm going to model myself on Agatha Christie' or 'I am going to be a crime writer in the Christie tradition'.
Nobody has ever written as many enjoyable, fun-to-read crime novels as Agatha Christie. It's all about the storytelling and the pleasure of the reader. She doesn't want to be deep or highbrow.
Try as I might, Agatha Christie is unique. The actual writing style can't be exactly the same, so instead of trying to replicate it exactly, the way I got around it was by inventing a new narrator.
Only Agatha Christie can write like Agatha Christie.
Agatha Christie never wrote books that just started with a dead body, and a 'Let's find out who the murderer is', which is kind of mysterious but not that mysterious. She always started with, 'How can this thing be happening; isn't it strange?'
My characters all have issues, but I don't see that as weird or abnormal because I think in real life there are very few bland, normal people.