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Kate Mosse answers The Questions I Always Ask

This week, novelist and Women's Prize founder Kate Mosse lets us in on her secrets

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What has been your biggest life shift?
Becoming a mother at the age of 29, then again at 31. It taught me to make every second count and that love is boundless.

What do you wish someone had told you about life after 40?
That it only gets better – you care less about fitting in, less about trivial stuff, that we should make the most of our beautiful, precious life while we can and enjoy it.

The best thing about getting older is?
Going to bed early!

And the worst?
The older a woman gets, the more invisible she gets … We need to change this.

What’s your emotional age?
I feel pretty much the same as I’ve always done … I still feel connected to the lonely teenager I was, to the student, to the first-time mother, to the unknown writer, to the one that was lucky.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
If you can’t do something, never put the phone down without recommending another woman (thanks to Baroness Helena Kennedy).

What advice would you give younger women?
Be yourself, don’t follow the crowd; know that it matters to speak out but also be prepared to listen; that patriarchy is real and benefits no women and almost no men; that you have power to make a difference; that women’s rights are being eroded worldwide and we have to protect what our mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers (ad infinitum) fought to bequeath to us; oh, and be prepared to fail – women hold themselves back for fear of not being perfect. Throw yourself into everything, give it a go, if it doesn’t work out, try something else.

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Topic Questions I always ask