Credo: Novelist Deborah Moggach talks whinging, biking and going to bed with Cliff Michelmore

 

My parents instilled a Protestant work ethic in me Though it's rather lapsed of late, I fear. I've written something like 17 novels, which isn't bad, I suppose, but my father wrote 120 books, my mother 40. In comparison, I'm lazy.

I often feel like an imposter in the grown-up world I feel as if someone is going to come along, feel my collar and say: "Do you really think you can get people to read books you've made up about people that don't exist?"

Writers shouldn't whinge I've had two or three experiences in Hollywood, and each has been really unhappy and uncreative, a joyless process. But one can't whinge, because everyone knows you are trousering vast amounts of money. Whining writers are a hideous sight; we should really shut up, because we are lucky if we can cobble together a living from all of this.

The pram in the hall never affected me Bringing my two children up while writing was just a part of life. I'd much rather have had their interruptions than been stuck in a sterile office. This way, I had welcome distractions. I had to load the washing machine, I had to go out and buy lemons.

I'm 65 and about to be married again I was married once, decades ago, then had long relationships with someone older, then someone younger. The man I'm about to marry is exactly my age, and this is important. In my new novel, one character discusses running off with a younger man. "Fancy going to bed with someone who has never heard of Cliff Michelmore," she says. I know what she means. I'd much rather go to bed with someone that has heard of Cliff Michelmore.

My parents divorced late in life I was in my thirties, a proper grown-up, but it still had a destructive effect. One minute they were sitting side-by-side, soulmates as ever; the next everything had imploded. They both behaved badly, slagging each other off to their children. That's a line you should never cross. And then my mother went to prison [for her part in assisting a terminally ill friend to die]. I think subconsciously she wanted to get my father's attention, but he was appalled. They both remarried, but they never reconciled.

I'm a patron of dignity in dying probably as a result of my mother's experiences. It was a courageous thing for her to do, I think, and the law is lagging way behind humane opinion. Everyone I speak to, and not just the chattering classes in north London, think it's insane to artificially keep people alive when they are suffering. Who wants to be tied up to a squillion tubes at the end of their life? Not me.

Nothing gets easier with age Even love. Half the time, I still feel like a messed-up teenager, the other half like a wise old bird. But love remains just as complicated, just as tumultuous. People my age still wait for text messages and see how many x's come at the end of them.

I love cycling in London I love looking into people's windows at dusk, cycling down to Soho from Hampstead as the sun sets, and seeing waiters lay out tables, the evening beginning to hum.

I'd love to sing with a band in a concert hall Billie Holiday, Cole Porter… I really can sing. Probably very not well, but I don't care. It'll never happen, of course, so I content myself with singing in the car, loudly.

Deborah Moggach has been writing for the past 35 years; her novels include 2004's 'These Foolish Things', which was adapted for the cinema as 'The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel'. Her latest novel, 'Heartbreak Hotel', is out now in paperback (£7.99, Vintage). For more on Dignity in Dying: dignityindying.org.uk

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Guru Careers: Graduate Resourcer / Recruitment Account Executive

£18k + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a bright, enthusiastic and internet...

Reach Volunteering: Chair and trustees sought for YMCA Bolton

VOLUNTARY ONLY - EXPENSES REIMBURSED: Reach Volunteering: Bolton YMCA is now a...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£150 - £180 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher Geography teach...

Day In a Page

Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine
Letterman's final Late Show: Laughter, but no tears, as David takes his bow after 33 years

Laughter, but no tears, as Letterman takes his bow after 33 years

Veteran talkshow host steps down to plaudits from four presidents
Ivor Novello Awards 2015: Hozier wins with anti-Catholic song 'Take Me To Church' as John Whittingdale leads praise for Black Sabbath

Hozier's 'blasphemous' song takes Novello award

Singer joins Ed Sheeran and Clean Bandit in celebration of the best in British and Irish music
Tequila gold rush: The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product

Join the tequila gold rush

The spirit has gone from a cheap shot to a multi-billion pound product
12 best statement wallpapers

12 best statement wallpapers

Make an impact and transform a room with a conversation-starting pattern
Paul Scholes column: Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?

Paul Scholes column

Does David De Gea really want to leave Manchester United to fight it out for the No 1 spot at Real Madrid?