Michael Nyman. Its hard to choose one piece, maybe Musique a Grand Vitesse (1993) written for a French train. I play music when I write to create a 'must do four pages a day' atmosphere.
Red Noses by Peter Barnes. It's bleak and comic, set during the Black Plague. Barnes is a neglected playwright. I can't believe he's not up there with Patrick Marber.
Waterloo Bridge crops up in three of my books: it's important to me for its historical connections and as a crossing place. It's part of my life - I remember letting go of ballooons there as a child, and now I go to stand in the middle and be calm.
Witchfinder General, directed by Michael Reeves. I saw it when I was 17, and was struck by the genuine sense of the past in this macabre film dealing with the breakdown in law and order after the English Civil War.
Anything by the Pre-Raphaelites. I wrote Darkest Day using John William Waterhouse's The Favourites of the Emperor Honorius, 1883, as a symbol - the emperor prefers feeding his pigeons to talking to his counsellors.
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