Kate Thompson

What did you have for breakfast today?

Pineapple, pears, apples, carrots, celery and spinach, all blended in a juicer. Followed by a pot of strong black coffee.

If you could be anywhere right now, where would it be?

Diving a reef in Jamaica.

What is your comfort food?

Homemade Ballymaloe French Peasant soup. Or macaroni cheese made with strong cheddar, emmenthal and parmesan.

What website do you look at most?

premierpropertiesireland.com. It's the website of Helen Cassidy, an auctioneer who specialises in swooningly romantic properties in the west of Ireland.

How often do you exercise?

Before I was diagnosed with breast cancer last October, I exercised every day. Since my diagnosis, my exercise regime has been rather more erratic - but I have been hill-walking in Wicklow every other weekend. I used to swim 1,800 metres daily until I developed an allergy to chlorine: now my swimming is confined to the Atlantic.

What Irish person do you most admire?

May I make that two people? My husband and my daughter.

What Irish person do you least admire?

I fear there are too many to list, and they mostly comprise politicians, bankers, property developers and some clergy.

How punctual are you?

I am almost always late, and I hate myself for it.

What do you most like about yourself?

My fortitude.

What do you watch on TV?

Fair City. Since joining the writing team, I have become religious about watching it.

What word or phrase do you overuse?

'Stop that, Leeloo!' Miss Leeloo Caswell is our feisty new Burmese kitten.

What is your favourite shop?

Lainey Keogh's Aladdin's Cave on Dawson Street. My favourite independent bookshop is my local one - The Gutter in Temple Bar.

What was the last text you sent?

It was to my daughter in Malaysia, telling her I loved her and asking her to Skype.

What radio station do you listen to?

Lyric FM mostly. I've recently resisted listening to current affairs programmes because the news is always so bad.

Are you good with credit cards?

No. I wish I didn't have one. I would love to get rid of my bank account entirely.

How long does it take you to get ready?

If I'm working from home, I simply shower and get into a clean pair of pyjamas. If I'm going out, I don the full panoply of armour. The older I get, the longer it takes.

What is your biggest regret?

That I didn't start writing earlier in life.

What can you not live without?

My husband and daughter.

Who was your first crush?

He played the clarinet in the Belfast Youth Orchestra, beautifully. I played second violin badly, and spent my time gazing at him instead of the score. I can't recall his name.

When did you last use public transport?

Because I live in central Dublin I usually walk or cycle. But taking the bus from Galway through Connemara to Roundstone village is the most delightful journey ever.

What do you worry about?

Losing my mind. My mother-in-law suffered from dementia for 10 years. Her decline was utterly harrowing to witness.

Who did you last vote for?

Cathy Kelly, at the Irish Book Awards.

What time do you go to bed?

In summer, when it gets dark. In winter, once the last log on the fire has burnt out.

'That Gallagher Girl' by Kate Thompson is published by HarperCollins