I go to the House of Lords in the afternoon and try to walk halfway. I may be thinking about what I'm going to write. It's much more satisfying than sitting in a chair.

I try, and I think I succeed, in making my readers feel sorry for my psychopaths, because I do.

I don't make any notes, but I do know where to find things. Suppose I need to know where Wexford first talked about his love of the countryside or where he quotes Larkin or what was the beginning of his hatred of racism or where he first encountered domestic violence; I would be able to find it straight away.

I agree with what Mark Twain said - we're all mad at night.

'The Chimney Sweeper's Boy' began differently from any previous book I'd written. It actually derives from a story a friend - the novel's dedicatee, Patrick Maher - told me.

I call myself an agnostic. I'm open to change. I'm the same sort of person, although much less aggressive, as Richard Dawkins.

'The Da Vinci Code' was pretty awful. A good idea disappointingly handled.

I don't mind being distracted. I don't want to sit there in utter silence and type. If the phone rings, I usually answer it, speak for a few minutes and return to writing, or go for a walk in and out of the rooms. I don't mind a break.

Ford Maddox Ford's 'The Good Soldier' is my favourite novel. I first read it in the 1950s and have read it about 20 times since. It's possibly the best-constructed book in the English language.

I have a soft spot for charities that help children.

Hugh Grant will always be associated with his scandal, and so will Max Mosley.

I am neurotic, but I live with it. I think most people are, anyway.

I get very tired of violence in crime fiction. Maybe it is what life is like, but I don't want to do it in my books.

I never make notes; just a few small details when I'm writing, but nothing much. The plot is never written down. I will tell the story to myself, but I won't plan it. I'll speak the narrative in my head for a while.

Many people have a profession or a job - most people do, I should think. And they do it. And that's what I did.

I think that people who make a lot of money - and I do - should certainly give a considerable amount of it away.

I wouldn't be young again even if it were possible, but I am not going to pretend that growing old is all sweetness and light.

I think to be driven to want to kill must be such a terrible burden.

In 'The Blood Doctor,' I wrote about the history of haemophilia and the devastating effects of the disease at a time when there was no remedy.

Violence is very much with us, and we like to see it. I doubt if you can change that, and I'm not sure you should want to. I have occasionally been very upset by something I was writing, but it's quite rare: I keep my writing very separate from my life.

I don't know that I am fascinated with crime. I'm fascinated with people and their characters and their obsessions and what they do. And these things lead to crime, but I'm much more fascinated in their minds.

Both my parents had strokes. My father had several, but the last one was fatal. It's a horribly disabling bug, a stroke.

We, people, are so very, very complicated that no matter how well drawn a fictional character is, they can't get anywhere near as complex as a real person.

I always write about what interests me.

I - I love being told by people that they enjoy my books, and I think that's really very nice.

I don't care for people who are given peerages who have paid for them. I think it happens, and I don't like that.

I've never met a murderer as far as I know. I would hate to.

I'm a very bad Christian, but I am a Christian. I think that all women, unless they are absolutely asleep, must be feminists up to a point. And socialist, well yes, of course, it's not a fashionable word, but I am very much of the Left.

The treatment of patients with contaminated blood has been described as one of the most tragic episodes in the history of the NHS.

I've done the big 12-city tours, and I'm never going to do that again - never. I was younger then. It wears you out, you know.

I went into a church and simply said, 'Goodbye.' It is the terrible unfairness of life. How could God allow cancer, poverty, the sheer unfairness of so many lives? That is the question which finishes it for me.

People tell me the most extraordinary things. I've noticed it for years. Perhaps they know I won't be shocked. Or judgmental.

I really do literally put myself into a character's shoes.

I'm concerned with the lost, the lonely, the shy. I think shyness is in some ways more widespread now than formerly. I used to be shy myself. Of course, you can't be me now and remain shy, but I remember very well what it felt like.

I don't think the Barbara Vines are mysteries in any sense. The Barbara Vine is much more slowly paced. It is a much more in-depth, searching sort of book; it doesn't necessarily have a murder in it.

I don't choose my villains and heroes for political reasons.

People want to marry me for companionship. No thanks! I've got my cats for that!

I always know when a novel is going to be a Barbara Vine one. In fact I believe that if I weren't to write it as Barbara Vine, I wouldn't be able to write it at all.

I do think that being a sort of celebrity and being well off does give me some responsibility. I think that people who make a lot of money - and I do - should certainly give a considerable amount of it away.

I always write about subjects which attract me because if I didn't, it would be awful, a failure.

I'm very fond of Tennessee Williams' plays, and when my husband and I went to New Orleans in the late 1970s, we saw 'A Street Car Named Desire.'

I have never been a foodie and am seldom very hungry.

I really am not affected by the tragic aspects of my books.

The things I write about are completely removed from my own life, but people want to know the characters better.

I'm not much of an eater.

I very much like writing about homosexual relations. I don't quite know why. Perhaps it's because I feel there's still so much to be said about them.

Nobody will go on being remembered for a very long time, unless you're Shakespeare or Milton. I have no hope of being remembered at all.

It doesn't matter what kind of book you write - you ought to write it well and with some kind of style and elegance.

I'm a very bad Christian, but I am a Christian.