Kate Mosse: ‘A taxi driver said I wasn’t as tall as he’d expected. He thought he was picking up Kate Moss’ | Kate Mosse

B.orn in Chichester, Mosse, 60, worked in publishing and in 1996 co-founded the Women’s prize for fiction. She went on to become a radio presenter before leaving to write Labyrinth – the first novel in her bestselling Languedoc Trilogy – which was published in 2005. Her books have been translated into 38 languages, and The City of Tears, the second in The Burning Chambers series, is out in paperback. She is married with two children and lives in Chichester.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Hoarding books: I have 25,000.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Unkindness.

What was your most embarrassing moment?
Launching the Women’s prize. I was almost invisible behind the lectern – lecterns are made for tall men and I’m 5ft 2in – so I stood on a cardboard box. I was saying, “Ladies and gentleman, I’m delighted to welcome you…” when I went through the box and disappeared.

Describe yourself in three words
Hopeful, energetic and short.

What would your superpower be?
To sleep through the night.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
I’ve learned to be happy with myself.

If you could bring something extinct back to life, what would you choose?
Grants for university so that any young person who wanted to learn and who had the talent could go without incurring huge amounts of debt.

What is your most unappealing habit?
Clearing away after people when they are still eating their meal.

What scares you about getting older?
Running out of time.

What did you want to be when you were growing up?
First I wanted to be in the circus, then a tap dancer, then prime minister. I have failed at all three.

What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
A taxi driver said, “You’re not as tall as I’d expected” when he thought he was picking up Kate Moss.

Would you choose fame or anonymity?
Something in between the two.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Mini Cheddars.

What does love feel like?
Breathing.

What was the best kiss of your life?
School disco 1977, 10cc playing I’m Not in Love and kissing my husband for the first time. We were 16. I was at the girls ‘comp and he was at the boys’ comp, so there were joint school discos.

What has been your biggest disappointment?
Not working in another country.

When did you last cry, and why?
Last night, watching Grey’s Anatomy.

How often do you have sex?
I don’t kiss’n’tell.

What keeps you awake at night?
Thinking about all the things I have failed to do during the day.

Would you rather have more sex, money or fame?
I think I have enough of all of those.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
There’s always tomorrow.

What happens when we die?
If I knew I would tell you.

Tell us a joke
I’m a supermodel.

Tell us a secret
I’m not a supermodel.

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