Sarah Hilary has created a brilliant detective series featuring DI Marnie Rome. She recently won the 2015 Theakston’s Crime Novel of the Year for her debut, Someone Else’s Skin, and today marks the paperback publication of her equally dark, twisty and engaging follow-up, No Other Darkness. Obviously it’s time to ask her the really tricky questions. Drum roll please…
1) What was the last text you sent?
To a friend, telling her I hoped the wind wouldn’t play merry hell with her bell tents. It’s a long story.
2) Does your mother play golf? (Question provided by Michael Richardson)
Once, but it was crazy golf outside a Welsh tearoom and only to keep peace between me and my siblings.
3) Who is your unlikely crush?
Norman Bates. I have my reasons.
4) Bacon VS Tofu – who wins? Why?
You make me laugh with your quinoa hate :)
5) Your writing is music, what style is it?
Psycho shower scene meets Panic at the Disco. Everyone mosh-pitting until they drip with sweat and drop to the floor.
6) Can you make up a poem about tinned peaches? (winks to those in the know)
7) Have you ever had a nickname?
Tiger. Sadly not after the girl from the Double Deckers.
8) What makes the wind blow?
Something to do with the sun and atmospheric pressure. Plays merry hell with my mate’s bell tents.
9) Do you believe human beings can spontaneously combust?
No. It would spoil too many great crime stories where the killer thinks he’s been very clever incinerating a corpse near a fire-place.
10) What’s your favourite thing from childhood that you’ve still got?
11) Have you ever written an angry letter to a magazine or “news” paper?
Yes. I once explained to Mslexia why being snooty about fan fiction was a bloody silly idea. They published the letter, too. I think I might become an angry letter writer in my old age.
12) Have you ever woken up laughing?
13) Who is your favourite Neighbours character?
I never watched it. I watched The Sullivans. John was my favourite in that. And I do love Kylie.
14) Who is your fave TV crime fighter?
15) What’s your favourite sweet?
Peppermint creams. Not the kind covered in chocolate. The plain kind, in the waxy wrappers.
16) What sandwiches would you make for a picnic with Lorrie Moore?
I would attempt a sandwich layer loaf, which my mum used to make in the 80s. You take a loaf of Hovis wheatgerm bread, unsliced, which you cut into three horizontal sections before adding three different fillings and slapping it back together again. Then you slice it like you normally would and–wowzer, you’ve got three layers of fillings in one slice. My mum used to smear peanut butter on the top crust. It’s retro, and a bit cheeky.
17) What was your favourite book as a child?
The Little Bookroom by Eleanor Farjeon. A book of short stories. My favourite was a wonderfully nasty one called The Lady’s Room.
18) What would you do if you were invisible for the day?
Sneak into Battersea Power Station and rearrange all the geegaws in the showroom flats. Then I’d nick Sting’s lute for a laugh.
19) What’s your favourite swear?
Oh fuck buckets.
20) What question should I have asked you?
Am I a good liar?