The 5-minute Interview: Sandra Howard, Novelist and former model

'I was surprised to get a two-book deal'
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The Independent Online

Sandra Howard, 67, was a leading model in the 1960s who appeared on the covers of countless magazines and intrigued gossip columnists by befriending, among others, John F Kennedy and Frank Sinatra. Now married to the former Conservative leader Michael Howard, she is an acclaimed novelist. Her latest book, 'Ursula's Story', is out now

I wish people would take more notice of...

Other people. I have great chats to people in supermarket queues and then go home feeling cheerful.

A phrase I use too often...

"Sorry I'm late but..."

If I weren't talking to you right now I'd be...

Hard at work at my next book. I'm really enjoying it.

The most surprising thing that happened to me...

Was getting a two-book deal at a late age. I had been working away, trying to achieve it, and then it happened.

A common misperception of me is...

That I'm good at anything. I'm absolutely not. When I was modelling, I didn't really believe it was anything more than a joke.

I am not a politician but...

If I were, I would give more money to youth workers and teachers.

I'm good at...

Not very much really. I can't draw, sing or spell. Perhaps falling in love.

I'm very bad at...

Being on time. Michael is always early. I stop him being too early and he stops me being too late.

The ideal night out is...

Having supper with friends or going to a really good restaurant by the sea. We would have an ocean view and be sitting outdoors, somewhere wonderful like Zanzibar.

In weak moments I...

Eat jam with a spoon. It's dangerous – you don't how much you are eating.

You know me as a writer but in truer life I'd have been...

A high-achieving government minister. I'd speak lots of languages fluently and have very big breasts.

In a nutshell, my philosophy is this...

Love is all. It keeps me feeling young.

Alice-Azania Jarvis

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