Where are you now and what can you see?
Sitting at my kitchen table in Whitley Bay. I can see clutter, books and a snowy suburban garden.
What are you currently reading?
'The Sound of One Hand Killing', by Catalan crime writer Teresa Solana. Translated crime is my reading passion.
Choose a favourite author and say why you admire her/him
This is impossible and changes every time I'm asked. At the moment it's Christopher Fowler. I love the wit and playfulness of his Bryant and May books. As I get older I'm drawn by old people behaving outrageously.
Describe the room where you usually write
It's the kitchen. There's a long table covered with my husband's optical stuff – he's an ornithologist. One corner looks like the recreation of a Shetland croft kitchen.
Which fictional character most resembles you?
Jo in 'Little Women'. Not very original. I'd guess lots of female writers would choose her.
Who is your hero/heroine from outside literature
Lee Hall, who's fighting ferociously to stop Newcastle council's cuts to libraries and arts.
Ann Cleeves's new Shetland novel, 'Dead Water', is published by Macmillan