I got my publishing deal through a combination of hard work, good luck and keeping steely, steely calm.

Hard work

I think you can only do it if you really love writing for its own sake, not because of what you may or may not achieve. Writing is for me an addiction. I am at my happiest when I write every day.

Good luck

Thanks to my agent, Ger Nicholl of the Book Bureau, my debut psychological thriller, Obsession, landed on my editor, Phoebe Morgan’s (Avon Harper Collins) desk, when she was looking for one. Phoebe has been a complete joy to work with. That has been another piece of good luck.

Keeping steely, steely calm

I always had a daydream that once you had an agent you flounced about for years making minor adjustments to your work, boasting that you had at last managed to get an agent. But much to my disappointment there was no such procrastination. Ger immediately started the nail biting process of sending my novel out to publishing houses. And nail biting it was.

I heard about my book deal, last year, when I was skulking about at the Hay Festival envying all the published writers as usual. ( I go every year.) Receiving that call was one of the most exciting moments of my life. The next talk we went to was by Michael Palin and I have never enjoyed a talk at the Hay Festival so much. The friends I was with kept turning around to watch me because I was laughing so much, tears in my eyes at his jokes.