Studioenp: Pepsi or Coke—or something else?
Anette Darbyshire: Does prosecco count? I do like a nice, ice-cold Diet Coke, although I had a Pepsi Max the other day and I liked that, too.
Studioenp: Which season do you like best and why?
Anette Darbyshire: I love autumn because of the stunning colours. I don’t cope with heat very well, so it’s always a huge relief when it starts to cool down. The other bonus is that the pesky wasps go away. I hate wasps with a vengeance. I also love it when the evenings start to draw in so I can light candles and put the fire on. I guess that’s the Dane in me.
Studioenp: What’s your fondest childhood memory?
Anette Darbyshire: Every summer I would visit my family in Denmark. As they didn’t see me very often, I always got spoiled rotten. And I could stock up on salty liquorice. I often think back to those holidays and wish I could go back one more time. Unfortunately, my family there are all dead now, so even though we do visit every now and again, it’s not the same. I’ll always have the memories, though, which I’ll always treasure.
Studioenp: Do you have a best friend—who is it?
Anette Darbyshire: My husband. He is my rock and my soulmate. Otherwise, one of my oldest friends is a guy called Henrik. We met in Copenhagen when we were eighteen and have been best friends ever since. He’s as camp as Christmas, outrageous and I love him to bits. He lives in Berlin now and I only get to see him every couple of years when we pop over for a long weekend. It doesn’t matter how much time has passed since we last saw each other, we always pick up where we left off.
Studioenp: Do you have any quirks?
Anette Darbyshire: How long have you got? I was a goth in the 1980s and never got over what everyone called a ‘phase’. I still wear only black, still go to alternative clubs and concerts, and am still drawn to people who are as odd as I am. I’m also a bit scatty and forgetful, but most people who know me are used to it, so they just roll their eyes and accept it as one of my quirks. Oh, and I can twitch my nose like Samantha in Bewitched. Does that count?
Studioenp: Post-It notes or notebook?
Anette Darbyshire: Oh God, I’d be lost without my notebook. Post-It notes just aren’t big enough for all my scribbles and I’d only lose them anyway. Every time I get a thought or idea for a book I’m working on, I get my notebook out—no matter where I am!
Studioenp: What do you do to relax?
Anette Darbyshire: I love to read—who doesn’t? I’ve recently discovered Tai Chi and have nearly finished the Twenty-Four Form. I really look forward to my weekly lessons and always come out far more relaxed than when I went in. I also enjoy going to the café at our local airport with my laptop. I’m a big plane geek and love combining my love of aviation with my writing. Writing relaxes me. I lose myself in my characters and plot, and it has a similar effect on me as mindfulness does on other people.
Studioenp: Perfect three-course meal?
Anette Darbyshire: I don’t have to think twice about this. Scallops to start, a lobster or prawn main, and ice cream for dessert. I love seafood and could quite happily live off it, although I do like a nice rib eye steak as well. All washed down with a bottle of prosecco, of course.
Studioenp: What type of music do you enjoy?
Anette Darbyshire: I’m as quirky in my music tastes as I am in other ways. I’m a bit of a contradiction—my two favourite bands are ABBA and Blutengel (German electro-goth band). They couldn’t be more different. Frida, the red-haired singer in ABBA, has been my idol since I was about ten years old and I still adore her. My favourite genres of music are goth, rock, 1980’s indie, punk, new wave, electro. That said, I love a good pop song and some classical music as well. I told you I was quirky.
Studioenp: Do you dance like no one’s watching?
Anette Darbyshire: Absolutely. I did ballet when I was a kid and reached quite a high grade in the Royal Academy of Dance syllabus. I was never good enough to be a professional, but I was ok. The trouble is, whenever I try to dance now, my brain thinks I can still do it all, but my body is screaming at me to stop. I’ve got arthritis in my toes, probably from pointe work, so that limits me as well. That’s why it’s probably best that no one is watching when I dance now.