So your time in Turkey and Spain was helpful to you as a writer?
Yes, very. It’s a powerful shock to the system to go and live in a place where millions of people exist day-to-day on a set of cultural assumptions markedly different from your own. As with seeing the feminist (or more simply the female) perspective on things, you are forced out of your accustomed world-view, forced to consider its validity as against any other. The result is ultimately very empowering – you come away with a far better sense of what is of real value in your own culture, and of what could really do with being changed. Plus (if you can beat your own nasty knee-jerk prejudices) you get an overwhelming sense of common humanity, a (one would think fairly obvious) understanding that at basic levels people are similar wherever you go – but you get that understanding at an emotional rather than an intellectual level. And then of course, there’s the wealth an experience like that brings to your life in terms of getting to know different food, different music, different languages, different kinds of humour … and all of those will feed into your fiction, and make it correspondingly richer, more human and more textured.