My Secret Life: Kate Mosse, 51, author

'I've got really bad music taste'
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The Independent Culture

My parents were… wonderful, old-fashioned parents who loved each other and loved us.

When I was a child I wanted to be… a tap dancer.

If I could change one thing about myself… Now I'm in my fifties, nothing. You get used to your face and your shape and your size and as you get older you get more comfortable with it.

You wouldn't know it but I am very good at… mixing my mother-in-law's gin and tonics.

You may not know it but I'm no good at… crosswords.

At night I dream of… When I'm writing, the characters in my book. I get up very early the next morning and try and write it all down.

I wish I had never worn… a crocheted poncho.

What I see when I look in the mirror… A middle-aged woman, with lines on her face that tell the story of what I've done.

I drive/ride… I hate driving, but when I have to, a seven-seater Vauxhall Zafira. But mostly I go everywhere on my bike.

My house is… very busy, quite noisy, lots of people coming and going all of the time.

My favourite work of art… I have two. One is a painting that my daughter did. She is now a professional artist. She did a three-dimensional alphabet for her GCSE art and it's still one of my favourite things on the wall. The other's a tiny resin statue which is a copy of the trophy given to the winner of the Orange Prize for Fiction.

My favourite building… I suppose it's not technically one building, but the medieval city of Carcassonne.

A book that changed me… As a reader, too many to mention, as a writer, Labyrinth.

Movie heaven… I'm more theatre than film really – anything set in a wood, in the early part of the day or at dusk. Always light through trees – on celluloid, on the stage or on the page, that's heaven.

The last album I bought/downloaded… I am embarrassed to admit that it was 1,000 Best Running Songs. I've got really bad musical taste.

My greatest regret… That my wonderful dad died before he could see the movie of Labyrinth. The novel was dedicated to him. He was so proud and excited about it. I told him all about the filming but he died before he could see it.

My secret crush… Harrison Ford.

The person who really makes me laugh… My husband.

The last time I cried… Watching the rough-cut of Labyrinth and realising that it was wonderful. It was such a relief.

My five-year plan… I don't have one.

What's the point? The old cliché: to live every day as if it were your last.

My life in six words… Normal, happy, lucky… that's only three!

A life in brief

Kate Mosse was born in 1961 in London and lives in Chichester with her husband, mother and mother-in-law. She studied at New College Oxford and spent several years in publishing before writing her first novel, Eskimo Kissing, in 1996. In the same year she co-founded the Orange Prize for Fiction. In 2005, she achieved global success with the archaeological mystery, Labyrinth. A TV series, based on the book, was released last year and is available from 1 April on DVD and to download from Universal Pictures