THE RIGHT TIME TO WRITE. Before I was published, I always regarded writing time as the ultimate treat. The danger of this was that sometimes I ended up relegating my passion to something of a guilty pleasure, solely for me, and therefore it slipped right to the end of my never-ending list of more practical responsibilities. However, making up stories and setting them down on paper has been a part of who I am from a very young age, so if I began neglecting to write regularly then the resulting frustration would needle me until I made time. For a while I skirted around the edges of my desire to write novels – literally, while editing other people’s books. I would work away on bits and pieces of my own, but never completed anything – until in 2007 I suddenly wrote a book in six weeks during a gap in my editing schedule. The book never made it past a number of encouraging but non-committal agents – however, I still think this book was as pivotal to me as anything I might publish in future. It showed me two important things: that I could write 100,000 words, and I could start and finish a novel. In turn, this made me look back at the story I really wanted to write, in a genre I was passionate about, and so I took two months off from editing and worked like crazy to get the book finished. This time a fantastic agent agreed to try and sell it, then I got to meet with two publishers who were both keen, and Come Back to Me was eventually published by Random House in early 2010. Writing is now done mostly during my little girl’s nap times or after she goes to bed. I also have a few hours a week spread over two mornings when we have a childminder, so I get the luxury of going to my local café and writing my socks off. It calls for ongoing discipline – I have to make sure I focus at these times, because the rest of my life is just as busy with other things. However, although my writing time might be limited, my thinking time isn’t – there aren’t many hours that go by where I don’t have some kind of writing-related thought.