In a meeting I was sitting next to a mindfulness trainer trying to explain my theory that most white blokes over the age of 40 look like Ross Kemp. She looked at me carefully and said, ‘You don’t look like Ross Kemp.’ Later I saw her slowly placing her water bottle back on the table, having taken a sip from it. Now, she would be a great character: funny, slightly annoying. In fiction, I think, the core of the character is whatever evokes an emotion: pity, anger, laughter etc. Then everything else is built up around it. Having said that, I have tried to place people I have met in stories and it doesn’t seem to work so well. Characters seem to arrive on the page and then I realise who they are based on. The strength of the character is dependent on the strength of the emotion they evoke.