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The life of a writer can be a solitary existence, although technology means that it is easy to reach out to a reader – and for a reader to reach out to an author. In my perfect world, every day would start with a letter from someone who has enjoyed somthing I have written. Today’s letter – leaving me with an enormous smile on my face – was from Dianne in Oxford. Thank you Dianne – this means the world to me.

‘I am just getting in touch to let you know how VERY much I enjoyed your book. I think you have a great talent and it was clear to see why you won the Daily Mail competition. Your book was not only extremely well-written, touching and thought-provoking but addictive – so much so that I found myself last Saturday morning staying in bed half the morning to finish it (having only intended to read a few pages while I had my coffee) when I had loads of other pressing stuff to do. Now that’s the sign of a really great read!’