In this series, we catch up with an author every month and ask them to reveal their closely guarded secrets for our readers. For February, we caught up with Clare Mackintosh to talk about the Police, goats and rom-coms.
I was a public order commander
Most people know I was a police officer, but towards the end of my career I specialised in police events: everything from peaceful protests and music concerts, to mass disorder and football riots. It was excellent practice for having children.
I’m learning Welsh
Note the ‘I’m learning’, rather than ‘I speak’… I’ve done a couple of TV interviews in Welsh, and can hold simple conversations, but I’ve got a long way to go before I’m fluent. We moved to a Welsh speaking area four years ago, and my children are now bilingual, so I’m determined to nail it.
I have a goat called Pete
A friend of ours moved from a rural house to one without a garden, and asked if we’d take Pete, a Guernsey goat with a big personality. He lives in our field with our pet rams, Dobby and Shaun, and our flock of chickens.
I wrote a rom-com
Before I wrote I Let You Go, the novel that launched my career as a full-time author, I wrote a funny novel called Hot Property. I worked on it with a literary agent, and we had some interest from a publisher, but my then-agent advised me not to pursue it. It ranks as some of the best advice I’ve ever had.
I love outdoor swimming
We have a large lake in the town where I live, and I started swimming in it the day after we moved here. Two winters ago I abandoned my wetsuit and now swim in ’skins’ (that’s a swimsuit, for the uninitiated) all year round.