My father died five days before I returned to New York. He was only fifty-three years old. My parents and my father's doctor had all decided it was wiser for me to go to South America than to stay home and see Papa waste away. For a long time, I felt an enormous sense of guilt about having left my father's side when he was so sick.
In 'Me Before You,' the two characters popped into my head fully formed, which is really strange and unusual. Other books, I sit on them for two or three months. I have a whole routine: I buy a nice book; I hand-write all their characteristics. I put them through little tests just to see how they would react to things.