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Soul searching: Sadie Jones

Writer Sadie Jones on her memories from Jamaica, the definition of soulmates and having a cowboy as a childhood hero. By Susan Swarbrick.

When I was seven...

My parents got married. We were in Jamaica, had a party, ate curried goat and my mother jumped into the swimming pool wearing her wedding dress. It was held outside on the terrace the old preacher, who was doing the service, all his pages blew away in the wind.

The wisest thing my grandmother told me...

To ask questions. To get over my shyness and find out about the world. That has definitely served me well.

The biggest adversity I have overcome...

Writing and not thinking about the market place or your hopes for that particular piece. To stay true to the work and not some perceived idea.

My motto for life...

To try to be kind, work as hard as I can and have as much fun as possible.

My soul mate is...

My husband, Tim. When you meet someone you recognise them in some way, but then discover the soul mate thing as you go along. It’s a small, instinctive thing at first that then grows and is built on through familiarity and time. I believe the idea of a soul mate is less amorphous than we think.

The most inspiring book I’ve read was...

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. It achieves the heights of great art through story. You think that it’s this unreachable and rarified piece of work, but actually the narrative so perfectly expresses its ideas.

If ever I feel lonely I...

I don’t usually feel lonely. I like being on my own. I tend to more feel a sense of loneliness in a crowd. When I do feel lonely, I try to make contact with someone: that goes back to the asking questions advice of my grandmother.

What I look for in a friend is...

Someone that doesn’t judge, is accepting, wants to enjoy themselves and not be in a competition.

The first people I ring when I’m upset are...

My mum, sister, husband and my girlfriends.

I believe the secret to a strong relationship is...

Not getting in rows about small things. Which I think is about remembering that you are probably exceptionally irritating as well.

Something I wish I’d done earlier...

Been less shy. I was paralysed by shyness for years. When I was young I used to spend a lot of time worrying about what other people think , when they are not thinking about you at all. I was in my twenties when I realised that. I bored myself with my shyness in the end.

My all-time favourite YouTube clip...

An old movie clip of Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin which he filmed of her. It has wonderful music of his and hers over it. It’s done on a hand-held camera and shows her dancing around their apartment in Paris. It’s the quintessence of glamour and fabulousness. My step daughter Daisy found it and sent it to me – it’s fantastically cool.

My childhood hero was...

A cowboy called The Virginian. He was super cool, wore black clothes, rode a horse and was heroic. There wasn’t a lot of female role models as a young child growing up in the seventies – it was all men.

The place I most like to call home...

Wherever my family are.

The Uninvited Guests by Sadie Jones is published in paperback by Vintage on February 14, priced £7.99

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