You ask the questions (Such as: Amy Jenkins, you once described yourself as terminally single. Do you think you've ever been in love? And have you any tips on how to pull?)

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The Independent Online

Writer Amy Jenkins, 33, was born and brought up in London, the daughter of the late political commentator Peter Jenkins and stepdaughter of the journalist Polly Toynbee. She was educated at Westminster School and University College London, where she read law for a year before dropping out to pursue her dream of becoming a writer. For the next five years she sold T-shirts on a stall at Portobello market, went to raves and, by her own admission, had a problem with drugs. Then in 1996 she created the hit BBC2 television series This Life, about the love-lives of a group of twentysomething lawyers who share a house. Since then, Hodder & Stoughton have paid her £600,000 for a two-book deal (her début novel, Honey-moon, is published tomorrow). She is single and lives in Chelsea.

Did Miles love Anna? (Or did he just love it that she loved him?) The book is good, by the way.

Victoria Leung, by e-mail

Miles would never have been that angry with Anna if he hadn't loved her. In a way, they were too similar. He felt like she was winning and his ego couldn't take that. If those two could have got their egos out of the way they could have lived happily ever after. I imagined Miles' mother to be a neurotic but overpowering character and very critical of everything, including her beloved son, and so Miles is attracted to women like his mother but feels inadequate around them and disguises that with bolshy behaviour.

I have never heard of you. What have I missed out on and what might I think of you in 50 years?

Nicholas E Gough, Swindon

You may or may not have missed out on a television series called This Life. But never fear, the BBC is repeating it soon. In 50 years you might think - wow she's looking good for 83, must be all that yoga and healthy eating.

Are your words really worth £600,000?

L Barbour, by e-mail

The proof will be in the pudding of how many copies my publisher sells. Remember, it was a two-book deal and it was an advance on royalties due to me anyway. If they do sell as many copies as they think they will, then it's only fair that I get a percentage, given that I wrote it.

Do you regret the fact that 'This Life' finished when it did?

Sarah Watkins, Lowestoft

Hard to say. At least it didn't degenerate and become despised. But sometimes I wish it had had the benefit of a commercial system, like in America, where actors are paid well and production values are high, and drama series that the people love are kept running at a high standard for years by intelligent investment of talent and money.

What goes up must come down. Does that scare you?

Melanie Sturges, Hove

This is my favourite question because it made me laugh out loud. Yes it scares me, but I try to keep sane by not reading any of my own press and not believing any of the hype for a minute. If I don't depend on being "up" for my self-esteem then I don't have to worry too much about being "down". I also aim to get better at what I do, so that keeps me creatively satisfied whatever anyone else thinks of what I'm doing.

Who is the most fanciable man in the world?

L Myers, by e-mail

The one I can't have.

What's your favourite book?

Keith Nicholls

F Scott Fitzgerald's Tender is the Night. It's so romantic and deranged and damaged and thoughtful and glamorous and destructive - ice cubes tingling in the warm Mediterranean nights of the Twenties.

Have you got it all?

Tricia Brewer, London

Of course not. It's interesting how the media play this game where they set people up by saying they "have it all" when we all know that life just isn't like that. Then we all wait with bated breath for the exposé in OK! magazine - the pain, the drugs, the heartbreak behind the golden image. I consider myself very lucky to be gainfully employed doing something I love but, like everybody, I've struggled with lots of stuff and still do. Both my parents were dead by the time I was 26. Plus I wish I had longer legs, straighter hair, and a talent for happy sexual relationships.

How did you get off the drugs?

Tony Hermarne, Portsmouth

I went into a recovery programme and did lots of therapy. It was a gradual process and hard work, and I found that I was able to stop when I really knew inside myself that the high wasn't worth the low (the chaos, the fear, the anxiety, the regret, the self-loathing etc etc). It was a simple equation in the end - I just had to work it out for myself.

I am a single woman but I am not obsessed with finding a man. Have I got a problem?

L Rule, Bradford

You sound very well balanced and lucky and I wish you all the best. On the other hand... are you sure you're not in denial? Only joking. I don't actually consider myself "obsessed with finding a man" either and that's not what Honeymoon is about. I think that's more the Bridget Jones bag.

Did your parents help or hinder your career?

Max Farnley, by e-mail

I think they helped in the sense that they brought me up with a good education - in terms of giving me books to read and taking me abroad and to the theatre and all that stuff. Plus they were extremely interesting people and there was a lot of political debate around the dinner table, lots of ideas and arguments being bandied around. I think they hindered, albeit unwittingly, because their success made me feel that there was no room for me. Parents seem so powerful, I couldn't imagine how I could possibly equal them or join them, and that was stifling. Until one day I found my own thing and that particular fear just evaporated into thin air.

You once described yourself as terminally single. Do you think you've ever been in love?

T Maybury, London

Oh, yes. I've been in love loads of times. But it's never been that quiet, steady, sensible kind of love that leads to the thirtysomething catalogue-sweater-wearing nirvana where you gambol on the lawn with children and dogs.

Do you think you would have made a good lawyer?

J Walker, Brighton

Not really, I'm too "that will do"-ish.

You've lived in London all your life. So who should be Mayor and what should he/she do?

Sarah Hollowell, Croydon

I'm afraid I cannot muster even a glimmer of interest in the mayoral debate. I've tried. Honest. But I just can't. Sorry.

Have you got any tips on how to pull?

Siobhan Keane, Warrington

Me? How to pull? I thought I was famous for being terminally single. I'm terrible at pulling. If I think a man is looking at me I make a point of turning my back and ignoring him completely, especially if I fancy him. Although I have recently tried to change this and have taken to asking men out, point blank. To good effect actually. I find it works if I'm very direct and very honest - no half-measures - no veiling it in work excuses - just straight to the "I really like you". The only problem is I still choose men who are basically unavailable and it all ends in tears (which doesn't mean it isn't fun along the way).

Did your experience at Westminster School affect your view of the world?

Amy Redman, Huddersfield

It made me realise there were tons of people far far cleverer than me and a lot more privileged. It made me very conscious of gender issues since the ratio of boys to girls was six to one. It made me make friends with boys which was good. It made me think.

Would you send your own children to private school?

T Singh, Derby

Yes, if that was the best option education-wise and in terms of their happiness. I doubt I could bring myself to compromise my child's happiness for politics or ideals or whatever.

What do you think of Bridget Jones?

S McAndrew, by e-mail

I was a huge fan of Bridget Jones in her early Independent days. I think Helen Fielding is an incredibly clever, funny writer. I think she captured something unique. The trouble is, Bridget Jones is so huge now she's in danger of getting too big for her high-heeled boots - and I'm not talking her calorie count. Bridget Jones was basically a very clever, very subtle spoof. Her character was a finely observed thing. And she's the sort of creation that can easily become crass and generalised under public ownership. For example: "All thirtysomething women are obsessed with getting a man."

Do you have any advice for other young female writers?

Sally Lawrence, Newport

Well, to young writers, I'd say: go for it, believe in yourself, write about what you know, put yourself into your work, your joy and your pain. Make up the rules as you go along. To young female writers: do all of the above plus the following exercise three times a day: I must, I must, I must increase my bust.

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