How I Make It Work

Friday, 11 January, 2013 / Published in Press
Posted from The Sunday Times, UK

DO YOU HAVE A DAILY ROUTINE?
I’m up at seven and usually write a couple of sentences to get me going, then I have some coffee. I don’t eat breakfast. I always put on make-up, as I don’t like sitting there bare-faced, and I’ll start writing properly at about nine o’clock, through until five. I usually go out at night, for dinner with friends.

WHAT ARE YOU THANKFUL FOR?
I’m thankful to have such a great family, a wonderful bunch of readers who have been with me over the years, and to have been born in a civilised country, Britain, where women are treated as equal citizens.

HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT WOMEN’S PRIORITIES TODAY?
There are a lot of girls who just go out and get drunk and hope to get laid, then married – that’s not the way to do it. Women have to thnk about a career first and then a relationship. If the relationship does come along, then that’s great, and if it doesn’t, they have a career to fall back on.

HOW DO YOU DEAL WITH RELATIONSHIPS?
You can’t plan a relationship: the right person has to come along. I’ve had many of the right people, but now I’m happy not being in a relationship – I love the freedom the being able to do what I want to do when I want to do it.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR WRITERS?
The advice that I give to all the writers out there is: don’t talk about it, do it. Write, write, write, because if you write a page a day, at the end of the year, you’ll have a book. My advice to woman is: girls can do anything. Women have to have respect for themselves, because if they don’t, they won’t get respect from men.

HOW MUCH EFFORT DO YOU PUT INTO YOUR APPEARANCE?
I swim a lot – but I find exercise so boring. I have a gym in my house, though I don’t really use it. I take a lot of vitamins and I’m also a cream junkie. I put on Boots 7 Protect & Perfect, then La Prairie, then my make-up. I don’t lie in the sun at the because I have vitiligo, the same disease Michael Jackson had.

WHAT’S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE?
Lying on my bed and watching TiVo with a bar of mik chocolate from Marks & Spencer.

HOW DID YOU JUGGLE MOTHERHOOD AND A CAREER?
I never called on anybody to help: I was completely hands-on. I would give the kids breakfast, take them to school, come home and write all day, pick them up, give them their dinner, put them to bed and, when they were tucked up, I would go with my husband to his nightclub and sit there until four in the morning. Then I’d get up with the children again the next day. The only thing I was lacking was sleep, but I knew that one day I’d catch up. You have to nurture your children when they are young. They’re like little birds: you must look after them, then let them fly free.

WHAT DOES SUCCESS MEAN TO YOU?
Freedom to keep on doing what I love. Also being able to do good things, such as helping out at shelters. Getting the best table in a restaurant is fun, too.

WHAT IS YOUR STYLE?
I’m not a dedicated follower of fashion. Over the years I have developed my own style and I stick with it. My closet is full of jackets, pants and fun tops. Fancy gowns are not my scene.

WHAT HAS MOTHERHOOD TAUGHT YOU?
Always to be there for my children. Motherhood is really the only true love in the world. Once you have children, they are your responsibility for ever. I speak to all three of my daughters every day. We are a close family, and I take great pride in that. It is possible to have a career and a family, and to enjoy both to the fullest.

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