I blame the Chalet School. Linked to an Alpine TB sanatorium, it sparked off in me a lifelong obsession with all things tubercular. In real life, I am too squeamish even to watch a hospital drama, and flinch from every cough in the street; in the pages of a book no medical detail is too vile. As long as it is about something I am pretty safe not to encounter in real life. So, no to cancer, yes to cholera; no to stroke, yes to scarlet fever.
The Dark Circle is published by Virago.